In 1950, Erwin Hauer began to explore modular sculptures that featured infinite continuous surfaces. Some of these he developed into architectural walls and screens, which were then widely used by architects in the USA. When that marked went into remission in the mid-sixties, Hauer continued his exploration of infinite surfaces as pure sculptures, with particular concentration on a feature they all shared, the saddle surface. So named because it resembles a horse saddle that fuses convex and concave curvature, this surface is present in organic nature and in every single potato chip ever created. but it has never received much attention in art, except in medieval armor. Beginning in the Nineteen-forties, the saddle became a prominent feature in the works of Henry Moore, Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner, and in architecture in Félix Candela’s thin-shell concrete roofs and Frei Otto’s hi-tech tent structures. Hauer was able to add to the state of the art by treating finite saddles, also called anticlastic surfaces, as modules which, when seemlessly fastened to each other, propagate to infinity either in the planar dimension or as fully three-dimensional, space-filling labyrinths. It ultimately turned out that some of Hauer”s work paralleled, and in one case even anticipated discoveries in mathematics.
Hauer authored a book about his earlier work, Erwin Hauer Continua, Architectural Screens and Walls, published in 2004 by Princeton Architectural Press, which rekindled widespread interest in his designs of the Nineteen-fifties. Hauer teamed up with his former student Enrique Rosado to produce some of his earlier designs, and to adapt some for production by up-to-date technology. Rosado put his profound digital competence to work, he invested in the most up-to-date machinery and he has produced all of Hauer’s Continua since 2005 on an exclusive, world-wide basis. Rosado is now the sole owner of EHR LLC, a company that also operates under the name Erwin Hauer Studios. In 2011, Hauer advanced to the Emeritus status and is acting as a consultant.
A part of the current line of products was showcased at the 2006 International Contemporary Furniture Fair held in New York City where it was awarded a Editor’s Prize by Metropolis Magazine. A similar display was featured at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show in 2012, Interior Design Magazine honored Hauer by inducting him into their Hall of Fame. More recently, the Department of Architecture at MoMA acquired a section of Design 5 for their permanent collection.
At the time of the publication of Erwin Hauer: Continua - Architectural Screens and Walls, a press release from the publisher, Princeton Architectural Press, said: This book resurrects the extraordinary but little known work of this sculptor, whose designs of perforated and modular structures are symphonies of measured elegance. Built in Aruba, Austria, Canada, Italy, Mexico, Venezuela, and the U.S., Hauer's architectural walls and screens caused a stir when they were erected in the 1950’s, but have since been lost in time. Graceful and sensual, with distinctly clean lines, the screens suggest the solidity of organic forms and the fluidity of music. Roger Fiedler, in an article in Art Review Magazine, wrote: a large body of Hauer’s work, beginning in 1950, entails elements of infinity, continuity and periodic repetition. This reiteration is strongly present in Baroque music, where we often find ongoing continua, totally repetitive, and then the theme music emerges and interweaves with the framework of the continuum. Asserting that music has always been his main inspiration, Hauer says the shapes within his continua need to be akin to “cantabile", like theme melodies.