Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Austrian (1928 - 2000)

Friedensreich Hundertwasser

1928 Born in Vienna on December 15th as Friedrich Stowasser.

1929 Death of his father, technical civil servant and officer in World War I.

1934 First juvenile drawings.

1943 First deliberate crayon drawings after nature. During this year, about 69 Jewish relations on his mother's side are deported and killed.

1948 School-leaving certificate. Spends three months at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, under Prof. Robin Christian Andersen. Lastingly influenced by a Walter Kampmann exhibition in the Albertina and by Schiele exhibitions.

1949 Start of extensive travelling: North Italy, Tuscany, Rome, Napels, Sicily. In Florence he meets René Brô and follows him to Paris. Develops his own style and adopts the name Hundertwasser.

1950 Stays in Paris with Brô and the Dumage family. Leaves the Ecole des Beaux Arts on his first day. Paints two murals together with Brô in Saint Mandé.

1952 First exhibition at the Art Club of Vienna. Brief decorative-abstract period.

1953 Paints his first spiral. Second stay in Paris. Works in Brô's studio, St.Maurice. Second Art Club exhibition, Vienna.

1954 First exhibition in Paris at Studio Paul Facchetti. Develops the theory of "transautomatism" and begins to number his works.

1958 Marries in Gibraltar (divorced 1960). Reads his Mould Manifesto against Rationalism in Architecture on the occasion of a congress at Seckau monastery.

1959 Receives the Sanbra Prize at the 5th Sao Paolo Biennial. Founds the "Pintorarium", a universal academy of all creative fields, together with Ernst Fuchs and Arnulf Rainer. As guest lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg, he draws the Endless Line with Bazon Brock and Harald Schult. Resigns lectureship following scandal.

1960 Visits Japan. Receives the Mainichi Prize at the 6th International Art Exhibition, Tokyo. Very successful exhibiton in Tokyo. Paints in Hokkaido and returns to Vienna via Siberia.

1961 Marries Yuko Ikewada (divorced 1966).Very successful retrospective at the Venice Biennial.

1966 Unhappy in love. Ferry Radax films the first domentary on Hundertwasser in "La Picaudière" and in the Austria Waldviertel region (Lower Austria).
1967 Travels to Uganda and the Sudan. Touring exhibition in galleries in Paris, London, Geneva, Berlin. Nude demonstration for The Right to a Third Skin in Munich.

1968 Second Nude speech and reading of architecture boycott manifesto Los von Loos (Loose from Loos) in Vienna. Travels to California to prepare a cataloge for a museum exhibition at the University of California, Berkeley, (organized by Herschel Chipp). Sails from Sicily to Venice in the "San Giuseppe T", an old wooden sailing ship. Converts the ship into the "Regentag" in dockyards in the Venice lagoon.

1971 Works on the Olympia poster for Munich in Lengmoos.

1972 Collaboration with Peter Schamoni on the film Hundertwasser Regentag. Works on the Regentag print portfolio at the Dietz printshop in Lengmoos, Bavaria.Friendship with Joram Harel. On the TV show "Wünsch Dir was" (Make a wish) demonstrates roof forestation and individual facade design. Publishes manifesto Your window right - your tree duty. The Regentag film is shown in Cannes. Sails around Italy to Elba in the "Regentag". Death of his mother.

1973 First portfolio with Japanese woodcuts: Nana Hiaku Mizu. Hundertwasser is the first European painter to have his works cut by Japanese masters. Takes part in the Triennale di Milano, where 12 Tree Tenants are planted in windows on the Via Manzoni

1975 Publishes manifesto Humus Toilet in Munich. Designs postage stamp for Austria: Spiral Tree, engraved by Wolfgang Seidel, the first in a series "Modern Art in Austria". The world travelling exhibition tour Austria presents Hundertwasser to the Continents (with catalogue) begins in the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Continued: Luxembourg, Marseille, Cairo. The Albertina exhibition of his entire graphic oeuvre begins a tour through the USA: New York, Boston.

1976 World touring exhibition: Tel Aviv, Warsaw, Reykjavik, Copenhagen, Dakar. Albertina graphic tour in the USA: Hanover, Brooklyn, Maryland.

1978 Designs the Peace Flag for the Near East with a green Arab crescent moon and blue Star of David against a white background and publishes his Peace Manifesto. World touring exhibition: Mexico City, Montreal, Toronto, Brussels, Budapest. Albertina graphic tour: Canada, Germany, Morocco.

1979 Peace Flag and Peace Manifesto are sent by Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky to heads of state in the Near East. The Austrian State Printing Office prints three stamps for the Republic of Senegal and one for the Republic of the Cape Verde Islands, engraved by Wolfgang Seidel.

1980 "Hundertwasser Day" in Washington, D.C. on November 18th, proclaimed by Mayor Marion Barry. Jr. Planting of the first 12 of 100 trees on Judiciary Square, Washington, D.C.; presentation of the anti-nuclear poster Plant Trees Avert Nuclear Peril to Ralph Nader's Critical Mass Energy Project, Washington, D.C. along with the environmental poster Arche Noah 2000 for Germany. Speaks on ecology, against nuclear power and for an architecture befitting man and nature in the US Senate, the Corcoran Museum, the Phillips Collection, all in Washington; in Berlin on the occasion of the 2nd European Ecology Symposium, at the Technological Universities in Vienna and Oslo.

1981 Speech in Vienna on False Art against nuclear energy and negative avantgarde in modern art on the occasion of receiving the Grand Austrian State Prize on 14 February (awarded 1980). Austrian Nature Conservation Prize. Appointed head of a Master School for painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. Writes Guidelines for the Hundertwasser Master School.

1982 As "architecture doctor", redesigns the facade of the Rosenthal Factory of Selb. Makes ceramic tongue-beards for the facade of the Museum Rupertinum, Salzburg .Donates poster Artists for Peace to the Krefeld Initiative. "Hundertwasser Week" in San Francisco, proclaimed by Dianne Feinstein, Mayor of San Francisco, to mark the presentation of the two posters Save the Whales and Save the Seas to Greenpeace and Jacques Cousteau Society. Presentation of the poster You are a Guest of Nature to the Centre of Environmental Education, Washington D.C.

1983 Edition of six postage stamps for the United Nations (2 each for New York, Geneva and Vienna), engraved by Wolfgang Seidel. Cornerstone of the Hundertwasser House is laid in Vienna. Designs a flag for New Zealand, the Koru, an Unfurled Fern.

1984 Receives the gold medal for the most beautiful postage stamp from Italy's President Sandro Pertini, for the 1,20 sFr stamp for the UN in Geneva. Takes an active part in the campaign to save Hainburg wetlands. Camps there for a week. Designs the poster Hainburg - Die freie Natur ist unsere Freiheit (Free Nature is Our Freedom).

1986 On 17 February the Hundertwasser House is is turned over to the tenants; 70,000 visitors have attended the "Open House". 1,000 green Koru-flags flow in New Zealand; great interest on the part of the population, press and parliament. Designs Uluru - Down Under Flag for Australia. Work on the design of the Brockhaus encyclopaedia, continuing into the next year.

1987 Cept Europalia 1987, a stamp depicting the Hundertwasser-House, appears in March in Austria. Designs the Luna-Luna poster for André Heller. Designs the poster and redisigns the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels for Europalia. Drafts a new design for the Church of St. Barbara in Bärnbach, Styria, and plans a Children's Day-care Centre in Heddernheim, Frankfurt.

1988 At the invitation of the Mayor of Vienna, Helmut Zilk, he takes on the task of redesigning Vienna's Spittelau District Heating Plant. Teaches at the International Summer-Academy in Salzburg (Human Architecture in Harmony with Nature with Efthymios Warlamis and Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt. Awarded the Golden Medal of Honour of the City of Vienna and the Golden Medal of Honour of the State of Styria.

1989 Builds his Hügelwiesenland In the Meadow Hills (Rolling Hills) model.

1990 Work on architectural realisations: KunstHausWien; Motorway-Restaurant Bad Fischau; AGIP Service Station Vienna; HBW Incinerator Spittelau Vienna; In the Meadows, Bad Soden, Germany; Village Shopping Mall, Vienna; Textile Factory Muntlix, Vorarlberg; Winery Napa Valley, California.

1991 Completion of KunstHausWien, opening on April, 9. Concept and development of architectural projects: the Thermal Village Blumau, Styria, for Rogner Austria, which is based on Hundertwasser's Rolling Hills. Town planning for Griffen, Carinthia, Austria. Housing comples Living beneath the Rain Tower in Plochingen, Germany. Presentation of the Hundertwasser Art Jeton designed for Casino Austria.

1992 Designs 4 telephone cards for the Austrian Postal Service and a postage stamp commemorating the European Council Summit in Vienna 1993. In Tokyo Hundertwasser's 21st Century Clock Monument is installed. The Tokyo Braodcasting System broadcasts a TV documentary on Hundertwasser's architecture and his ecological commitment.

1993 Work on the Hundertwasser-Bible project.
1994 Involvement in the campaign opposing Austria's joining the European Union.

1995 Works on Blumau Hot Springs Village. Redesign of Martin-Luther-Grammar School in Wittenberg, Germany. Design for the exterior of a Boeing B 757 for the German Condor airline, rejected.

1996 Unveiling of the Danube ship, MS Vindobona, redesigned by Hundertwasser. Awarded the Tourism Prize of Viennese Industry 1996.

1997 Presentation of the architectural project Die Wald-Spirale von Darmstadt. Exhibition of stamp designs, graphic work and architecture models at the Philatelia in Cologne. Awarded the "Grand Prix of German philately". Works on 366 individual book cover designs for Bertelsmann Book Club. Inauguration of the Rogner Thermal Bath in Blumau, Styria. Design and model of the architecture project MOP for the city of Osaka, Japan, and Hoch-Wiesen for Dresden, Germany. Architectural design and model for a farmers's market in Altenrhein, Switzerland.

1998 Retrospective museum exhibition at the Institute Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt, Germany. The Submersion of Atlantis, a ceramic-mural is installed at Oriente station in Lisbon. Supports an ecological project for the afforestation of the desert in Israel with his poster Among trees you feel at home.

1999 Hundertwasser lives and works in New Zealand. Architectural projects: Sludge Center, Osaka; The Green Citadel of Magdeburg and Uelzen Railroad Station, Germany. Reconstruction work for the new Kawakawa Public Toilet, New Zealand. Rejuvenation treatment for the ship Regentag. Designs the layout and book covers for his oeuvre raisonné books.

2000 Architectural projects for Teneriffa and Dillingen/Saar, Germany. Dies on Saturday, February, 19, in the Pacific, on board of Queen Elizabeth II from a heart attack. According to his wish he is being buried in harmony with nature on his land in New Zealand, in the Garden of the Happy Deads, under a tulip tree.

Artist's Gallery


RoGallery Logo

Phone: 800.888.1063 or 718.937.0901 - Email:

47-15 36th Street - Long Island City, NY 11101