Art/ Collection/ Art Object

ABCD

Artist:
Raoul Hausmann (Austrian, Vienna 1886–1971 Limoges)
Date:
1920s
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
15.1 x 10.1 cm (5 15/16 x 4 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.1100.58
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
As a founder of the Berlin incarnation of Dada, Hausmann searched for a vital, disruptive, and realistic art, piecing together scraps of word and image—the detritus of the real world—to make symbolic and explosive new pictures. ABCD is a self-portrait. Below the artist's face is an announcement of his performance of a phonetic poem. The letters VOCE (Italian for "voice") appear inside an earlike ellipse, and the letters ABCD, a prototypical poem, are clinched in the artist's teeth. The tickets to the Kaiserjubilee in his hat indicate the empty formalities of the social milieu in which he functioned, while the intentionally provocative gynecological diagram alludes to the organic necessity of his art.
Inscription: Signed and inscribed on print, verso UC: "Copyright by // R. Hausmann"; inscribed on print, verso LC: "photo montage // Berlin 1919 - 1923"; signed (or inscribed?) on print, verso LC: "RAOUL HAUSMANN"; stamped in ink, verso C: "COPYRIGHT FOTO - SEM [crossed out] // [5 text lines illegible] // Fernsprecher: J1 Bismarck 5064"; inscribed on print, verso LC: "215 [encircled]"; inscribed on print, verso LC: "75-3-40"; inscribed on print, verso UR corner [in JCW hand]: "686 // Hausmann // 1933";
[Robert Miller Gallery, New York]; John C. Waddell, New York (May 9, 1983)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 23, 1989–December 31, 1989.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 28, 1990–April 22, 1990.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 10, 1990–July 15, 1990.

High Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 5, 1991–April 28, 1991.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 8, 1991–August 4, 1991.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Faces and Figures: German and Austrian Portraits 1918-1933," December 15, 1992–April 12, 1993.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Faces and Figures: German and Austrian Artists, 1918-1933," December 15, 1992–April 12, 1993.

IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia. "The New Vision, IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia," January 20, 1995–March 26, 1995.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 36," November 3, 2003–March 7, 2004.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Wordplay: Matthias Buchinger’s Drawings from the Collection of Ricky Jay," January 8, 2016–April 11, 2016.

Hambourg, Maria Morris. The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars, Ford Motor Company Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989. no. 86.



Negative date: 1924 or later. The original montage is reproduced in: Raoul Hausmann, "Je ne suis pas un photographe", Sté Nlle des Editions du Chéne, Paris, 1975, p.55.
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