The exhibition at the ALBERTINA Museum presents one of the most important Austrian painters of our time. The main focus of the show is on Xenia Hausner’s practice of staging so characteristic of her work. For her paintings, Hausner first constructs and then photographs spatial settings in her studio. Automobile fragments or train compartments thus naturally become inhabited places, peculiar scenarios in which trivial objects are co-actors. It is in these environments that her protagonists interact.

Her figures emancipate themselves within a predominantly female cosmos and assume roles in Hausner’s stories, which resist clear interpretation. In fragmentary montages, the artist confronts us with our innate contradictions in close-up views that we are loathe to permit. And it is indeed precisely the fiction of these works that makes it possible for Hausner, her gaze thus sharpened, to apprehend underlying truths and reveal them visually. This exhibition is conceived as a retrospective, beginning with Xenia Hausner’s initial works from the 1990s and advancing to include her recent moving series, the Exiles.

On view from 1 May until 6 September 2020.