Wednesday, September 12, 2012

M Friedensreich Hundertwasser





"The colourful, the abundant, the manifold, is always better than mediocre grey and uniformity."


Friedensreich Hundertwasser was an Austrian painter, architect and sculptor. Born in Vienna, he became one of the best-known contemporary Austrian artists, although controversial, by the end of the 20th century.
Hundertwasser's original and unruly 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 utilized bright colors, organic forms, a reconciliation of humans with nature, and a strong individualism, rejecting straight lines. He remains sui generis, although his architectural work is comparable to Antoni Gaud√≠ in its biomorphic forms and use of tile. He was inspired by the works of Egon Schiele from an early date, and his style was often compared to that of Gustav Klimt. He was fascinated with spirals, and called straight lines "the devil's tools". He called his theory of art "transautomatis", based on Surrealist automatism, but focusing on the experience of the viewer, rather than the artist.
 Although Hundertwasser first achieved notoriety for his boldly-colored paintings, he is more widely renowned today for his revolutionary architectural designs, which incorporate natural features of the landscape, and use of irregular forms in his building design. Hundertwasserhau, a low-income apartment block in Vienna, 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".
He felt that standard architecture could not be called art, and declared that the design of any building should be influenced by the aesthetics of its eventual tenants. Hundertwasser was also known for his performance art, in which he would, for instance, appear in public in the nude promoting an ecologically friendly flush-less toilet.
The UN issued these stamps and the cover on 9.2.1983 in honour ofHundertwasser. Merja sent me this pretty FDC. The signature on the cover are those of this great artist and architect.

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