Thursday, August 28, 2008
13 Things About Hundertwasser
“If we do not honor our past
we lose our future.
If we destroy our roots
we cannot grow.”
2) Friedensreich Hundertwasser was born in Vienna in 1928 as Friedrich Stowasser. He initially gained acclaim for his paintings, but is currently more renowned for his unique architectural stylings. His revolutionary ecological stands with regard to architecture have earned him the nickname "Architecture-Healer." His works have been used for flags and stamps, coins and posters, schools and churches.
3) In his youth, Hundertwasser attended a Montessori school in Vienna, which influenced both his affinity for vibrant colors and respect of nature. He collected pebbles and pressed flowers as a child, demonstrating an interest in items that are precious and small at an early age, which later manifested itself in his collections of Venetian glass and Japanese fabrics.
4) Before he was twenty, all of his relatives on his mother’s side were killed in the Holocaust. He briefly attended the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts in 1948 and began producing his own works in the late 1940s.
5) Hundertwasser’s original, unruly, sometimes shocking artistic vision expressed itself in pictorial art, environmentalism, philosophy, and design of facades, postage stamps, flags, and clothing (among other areas). The common themes in his work are a rejection of the straight line, bright colours, organic forms, a reconciliation of humans with nature, and a strong individualism. He remains sui generis, although his architectural work is comparable to Antoni Gaudí in its biomorphic forms and use of tile. He was fascinated with spirals, and called straight lines “the devil’s tools”. He called his theory of art “transautomatism”, based on Surrealist automatism, but focusing on the experience of the viewer, rather than the artist.
The Maiden by Gustav Klimt, 1912. From here
Krumau an der Moldau by Egon Scheile, 1912.
Adele Bloch-Bauer (sold in 2006 for 136 million) We just saw this painting in an incredible design and art museum in New York City.
"A person in a rented apartment must be able to lean out of his window and scrape off the masonry within arm's reach. And he must be allowed to take a long brush and paint everything outside within arm's reach. So that it will be visible from afar to everyone in the street that someone lives there who is different from the imprisoned, enslaved, standardised man who lives next door." From his manifesto
Mosaic details from building in Switzerland.Photos from here
Grüne Zitadelle in Magdeburg von Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Berlin. Photo by Doris Antony.
12) Hundertwasserhaus is a low-income apartment block in Vienna, which features undulating floors ("an uneven floor is a melody to the feet"), a roof covered with earth and grass, and large trees growing from inside the rooms, with limbs extending from windows. He took no payment for the design of Hundertwasserhaus, declaring that it was worth it, to "prevent something ugly from going up in its place". Photo by Evgenia Kononova
13) “When man thinks he has to correct nature, it is an irreparable mistake every time. A community should not consider it an honour how much spontaneous vegetation it destroys; it should rather be a point of honour for every community to protect as much of its natural landscape as possible.The brook, the river, the swamp, the riverside wetlands as they are, the way God created them, must be sacred and inviolable to us. Correcting a stream only has evil effects, which are expensive in the end: the lowering of water tables, the destruction of forests, the transformation of large areas into steppes, no regeneration of the water, which runs off too fast. The river wetlands can no longer fulfill their sponge-like function: the absorption of excess water and slow feedback in dry spells, like a good piggy bank in times of emergency. The regulated brook becomes a sewer. Fish die, and there are no fish in the brook because they cannot swim through the regulated channel. Floods, with all their devastating consequences, all the more after regulation. Because too much water runs off too quickly, converging in great quantity without any chance of being absorbed by the earth and the vegetation. Only a stream with a high waterline flowing irregularly can produce pure water, regulate the water household and conserve the fish and animal populations to the benefit of man and his agriculture. Now, almost too late, this age-old adage is being recognised and the courses of rivers and streams, which had been straightened in concrete channels, are being destroyed in order to restore the previous irregular state. What irony! So why regulate a stream if you have to deregulate it afterwards?” Hundertwasser, May 1990
Mould Manifesto Against Rationalism In Architecture
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