Matt Hausmann reclaims and repurposes cast-off materials and ornament to make obsessively fabricated and mathematically ordered constructions, most wall-hung. Working with a variety of materials -- brass estucheon pins, nails, screws, lead, steel, aluminum, encaustic, shellacs, urethanes and a wide variety of specialty and found wood -- Hausmann concentrates on their form, texture, surface and shadow. Puncturing solid surfaces with repetitive apertures allows light and color inside and behind the work creating a curious play space within and throughout many pieces. His process involves repetition and rhythm: multiple clusters of nail heads, intricate etched surfaces, layers of wax and paint delicately embellish surfaces. The works are architectural; individually, they stand alone, like the finely crafted turn-of-the-century homes sited on the streets of the historic Mississippi River town where he grew up. Each piece is textured and colorful, often gleaming with multiple finish layers, like pieces of hard candy. Together, the constructions make up a sort of wunderkammer , each piece playing with light, sheen, shadow, pattern and pathways that lead from one to the next.
Born in 1968 in Alton, Illinois, Hausmann received a BA in art and psychology at Knox College. In 1991, after serving as a staff member at the Vermont Studio Center, he moved to New York City. Supporting himself as steeplejack, housepainter, art handler, tree-house builder, set designer, percussionist, carpenter, commercial fisherman, gardener, designer and general contractor, he accumulated 25 years of experience actively building and considering space and architecture.
He served as studio assistant to artists Sean Scully and Glenn Seator, and was artist-in-residence at Cucaracha Theatre in New York. Concurrent with his studio work, Hausmann wrote, performed and designed with numerous theatrical and musical groups: drummer and writer in alt/art rock notables OverEndEver and Bourbon and Clorox; founder and lead writer/producer of the New York City-based performance orchestra Coocoohandler; and performer and writer in the critically acclaimed long-running downtown rock musical â€œUncle Jimmyâ€™s Dirty Basementâ€.
Hausmannâ€™s proclivities, activities and work has been featured in various venues and media including: Good Morning America, MTV, MTV2, PBS/City Arts, NY 1, the New York Times, Time Out New York, the New Yorker, Fine Homebuilding , Joesâ€™ Pub, the Kitchen, PS 122, CBGBâ€™s, HERE, Westbeth Theatre, Galapagos, PS 1, Bowery Poetry Club, Surf Reality, Fringe Festival, Knitting Factory, Blue Rider, K & E Gallery, Artists Space, Art in General, Whitney Artworks, South Seaport, SECCA, Cleveland Institute of Contemporary Art, Allentown Art Museum, Albright-Knox Gallery, Bass Museum of Art and more.
Hausmann currently lives and works in Brooklyn and Maine.