1 Mar 2011

Friedensreich Hundertwasser

Friedensreich Hundertwasser, (1928-2000) is considered to be one of the most important artists to have emerged from Europe since the end of World War II. His pursuit to express his philosophies concerning the environment and a reform to architecture afforded him a style of creativity that remains unaligned with any major art movement.
Although born in Austria, Hundertwasser's influences span the globe as he traveled and lived not only throughout Europe but also in Africa and the South Pacific. Austria will always be considered the primary foundation for the artist as it is home to the Hundertwasser museum (Museum Kunst Haus Wein) as well as for many of his most notable architectural projects. One of these projects is the famous Hundertwasser haus which, along with the before mentioned museum, draws
thousands of people to Vienna each year.    
As a painter and an architect, Hundertwasser rejected the "straight line" in any of his projects. The "spiral" dominates the flow of his paintings that are accentuated by the use of vibrant color which the artist made himself from natural pigments and ingredients that ranged from chicken eggs to metallic substances.
Although Hundertwasser's paintings depict a very worldly concern with carefully chosen titles and subject matter, the artist himself chose a life of solitude with nature. Hundertwasser predominantly resided in New Zealand amongst his large garden of plants and trees from around the world, and with his boat, the "Regentag". The Regentag, which means "rainy day", is a 12 ton wooden freight boat that Hundertwasser purchased with the intent of fulfilling a lifelong dream of long distance travel. In fact, a most notable series of printwork by the artist bears the same title as the boat, "The Regentag Series".
Hundertwasser's printwork provided yet another outlet for his creativity as he employed some of the finest methods available.

The Japanese woodcut, etching and serigraphy are all methods that Hundertwasser learned and executed himself with a meticulous hand for detail. His serigraphs, for instance, were usually done  in several different color variations to maintain a degree of individuality within each image. Hundertwasser went beyond the normal coloring boundaries by introducing the use of phosphorescent and fluorescent colors in his printwork as well as the occasional metal embossing that was used as an embellishment technique.

Due to the diverse factors and projects of Hundertwasser's life, the paintings he produced were far and few. In addition, his painting nature had always been one of careful calculation, not at all the quality of an over prolific artist. As a result, Hundertwasser's paintings remain some of the most rare and collectible items within the category of the 20th Century Contemporary Masters.
For the fascinating life story of this artist visit:

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