Friedrich Stowasser, known as Friedensreich Hundertwasser, was one of the most important contemporary Austrian artists. A visionary non-conformist performer, born in 1928 in Vienna, Hundertwasser created a unique art and style in order to spread his message based on the concept of harmony between the individual and nature.
Hundertwasser discovered his artistic abilities early in life, and during a trip in Italy in 1949, developed his own unique style. He dedicated his entire life to architecture, art and graphics. He did not have a studio and was producing his art wherever he was, at home, on the road, in public places or at friend’s houses.
Hundertwasser paintings were full of different colors, assembled on his impulse and without a specific symbolism. His pieces were made on different types of paper, using gold and silver and new oil, tempera and watercolors techniques. He liked to put various paints in one piece in order to create a strong color and texture contrast. The Spiral symbol, used in many pieces, was the representation of the creation and the progress of life.
Hundertwasser was against traditional architecture based on straight line and functionality, because this type of architecture was responsible for people’s misery. He promoted diversity and creative freedom and created new architectonic methods based on organic forms in harmony with nature. The Hundertwasser House in Vienna, a residential building constructed between 1983 and 1985, can be seen only from outside and is one of the most important attractions of the city. The house was made by the ideas of Hundertwasser and the Austrian architect Josef Krawina was involved in the planning. The colorfully decorated exterior façade, the trees on the balconies and roof terraces make this house a piece of art and a magic green oasis in the center Vienna.
Another important building designed by the Viennese artist is the Kunst Haus Wien. This exhibition space has, on the ground floor, the museum shop and a café-restaurant and on the upper floors displays Hundertwasser paintings, graphics, tapestries and architectural models. The architecture of this building is the representation of Hundertwasser ideas: against straight lines and in favor of inspiration, creativity and harmony with nature. The facade is not perfectly straight and flat and interrupted by irregular mosaics and black-and-white patterns that break-up the grid system.
Hundertwasser philosophy, expressed with the concept of “Beauty is a Panacea – Schönheit ist ein Allheilmittel”, wanted to restore beauty and romanticism in everyday life, eliminating aesthetic emptiness.