Hundertwasser Biography

(a selection)



Born 15th of December in Vienna as Friedrich Stowasser.



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



First juvenile drawings.



Attends the Montessori School in Vienna for one year. His report refers to his "unusual sense of colour and form".



First deliberate crayon drawings from nature. During this year, about 69 of his Jewish relations – on his mother's side – are deported and killed, including his aunt and grandmother. First Diary 1943-1948.



School graduation. 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. Speech at Leopoldskron Castle, Salzburg: Everybody must be creative.



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



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



Spends the winter and spring in Morocco and Tunisia. Becomes a member of the Art Club, Vienna.



First exhibition in Art Club of Vienna. Brief decorative-abstract period.



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



First exhibition in Paris at Studio Paul Facchetti. Hospitalised September and October in Ospedale Santo Spirito in Rome with jaundice, where he paints a large number of watercolours. Develops the theory of "transautomatism" and begins to number his works.



Exhibition at Carlo Cardazzo's Galleria del Naviglio, Milan.



Second exhibition at Facchetti's in Paris. In the summer, he sails as a deckhand with Hans Neuffer on the S.S. Bauta from Söderhamm to Hull. Publishes La visibilité de la création transautomatique (The Visibility of Transautomatic Creation) in "Cimaises" and Cinéma individuel transautomatique (The individual transautomatic cinema) in "Phases" in Paris. Friendship with collector Siegfried Poppe, Hamburg.



Buys "La Picaudière", a farmhouse in Normandy. Publishes La Grammaire du Voir (The Grammar of Seeing) in Paris. Exhibition at Galerie St. Stephan in Vienna.


1957 - 1960

Contract with Galerie H. Kamer, Paris, and exhibition.



Marries in Gibraltar (divorced 1960). Reads his Mouldiness Manifesto against Rationalism in Architecture at a symposium in Seckau monastery on 4 July.



Receives the Sanbra Prize at the 5th São Paulo Biennale. Together with Ernst Fuchs and Arnulf Rainer, founds the "Pintorarium", a universal academy of all creative fields. As guest lecturer at the Academy of Fine Art in Hamburg he draws the Endless Line with Bazon Brock and Schuldt. Resigns lectureship following scandal.



Nettle campaign in Paris in conjunction with Alain Jouffroy's "Antiprocès" – "how one can live independently". Exhibition in Galerie Raymond Cordier, Paris.



Visits Japan. Receives the Mainichi Prize at the 6th International Art Exhibition, Tokyo. Successful exhibition in Tokyo Gallery. Paints in Hokkaido and returns to Vienna via Siberia.



Marries Yuko Ikewada (divorced 1966). Paints on the Giudecca, Venice. Very successful retrospective at the Venice Biennale, organised by Vinzenz Ludwig Oberhammer.



Travels to Greece; represented by Siegfried Adler.



Climbing trip in the Tyrolean Alps. Large retrospective in the Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanover, organised by Wieland Schmied. The exhibition also travels to Bern, Hagen, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Vienna. The Kestner-Gesellschaft publishes the first oeuvre catalogue.



Essay on 35 Days in Sweden. Great success of touring exhibition in the Moderna Museet, Stockholm.



Ferry Radax films the first documentary on Hundertwasser in "La Picaudière" and in Waldviertel, Lower Austria. Exhibition at Hammerlund's, Oslo.



Visits Uganda and the Sudan. Travelling exhibition in galleries in Paris, London, Geneva, Berlin.  Nude Speech for The Right to the Third Skin at Galerie Hartmann, Munich.



Second Nude Speech and reading his Architecture-Boycott Manifesto Los von Loos (Loose from Loos) in Vienna. Travels to Northern California to prepare a catalogue for his museum exhibition at the University of California, Berkeley, organised by Herschel Chipp. Sails from Sicily to Venice in the "San Giuseppe T", an old wooden salt hauler.


1968 - 1972

Reconstruction of the ship into the Regentag in the dockyards in the Venice lagoon.



Museum tour of the Berkeley exhibition: Santa Barbara, Houston, Chicago, New York, Washington.


1969 - 1971

Creates graphic work 686 Good Morning City – Bleeding Town in 120 colour variations followed by a court case in Munich lasting 5 years. Represented by Hans Brockstedt. Lives and works on board the Regentag in the Venice lagoon.


1970 - 1972

Collaboration with Peter Schamoni on the film Hundertwasser’s Rainy Day. Works on the Regentag graphic portfolio at Dietz Offizin in Lengmoos, Bavaria.



Works on the Olympia poster for Munich in Lengmoos. Sails down the Dalmatian coast in the Regentag with Peter Schamoni and Manfred Bockelmann; balloon flight with the two of them from Bavaria to Austria.



Friendship with Joram Harel. On the TV show "Wünsch Dir was" (Make a Wish), demonstrates roof forestation and individual façade design. Publishes manifesto Your window right – your tree duty. The Rainy Day film is shown in Cannes. Sails round Italy to Elba in the Regentag. Death of his mother.



First portfolio with Japanese woodcuts: Nana Hyaku Mizu. Hundertwasser is the first European painter to have his works cut by Japanese masters. Trip to the Cape Verde Islands and to New Zealand to his Museum travelling exhibition, organised by Hertha Dabbert, in Auckland, New Plymouth, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin. Takes part in the Milan Triennial, where 15 Tree Tenants are planted in windows in the Via Manzoni, and publishes manifesto Inquilino Albero. Exhibition at Aberbach Fine Art, New York.



Travelling exhibition through museums in Australia: Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Mornington. The exhibition Stowasser 1943 - Hundertwasser 1974 is shown at the Albertina State Collection of Graphic Art in Vienna as well as Friedrich Stowasser 1943 - 1949, featuring his entire juvenile oeuvre. Afterwards the Albertina exhibition of his entire graphic oeuvre begins a tour through Yugoslavia.
Paints the Conservation Week poster for New Zealand and receives the Conservation Award. Presents his proposals for a pedestrian area in Vienna's Seilergasse, which are rejected. Sails to Tunisia, Cyprus and Israel in the Regentag. Exhibition at Facchetti's, Paris.



Second Japanese woodcut portfolio: Midori No Namida. Retrospective exhibition in Haus der Kunst, Munich. Publishes Humus Toilet manifesto in Munich. Designs a stamp for Austria: the Spiral Tree, engraved by Wolfgang Seidel, thus launching the series "Modern Art in Austria". Beginning of the world travelling museum exhibition “Austria Presents Hundertwasser to the Continents” in the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, continues until 1983 in 27 countries and 40 museums. In 1975 continued: Luxembourg, Marseille, Cairo. The Albertina exhibition of his entire graphic oeuvre begins a tour through the U.S.: New York, Boston. It continues until 1992 in 15 countries and more than 80 museums and galleries. Sails the Regentag across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal to the Pacific.



Sails on board the Regentag from Tahiti via Rorotonga to New Zealand. World travelling museum exhibition: Tel Aviv, Warsaw, Reykjavik, Copenhagen, Dakar. Albertina travelling exhibition in the U.S.: Hanover, Brooklyn, Maryland.



Following two accidents, spends two months in Kawakawa hospital in New Zealand. Travels from Asia to South America, from Tokyo, Manila, Bangkok, Chen Mai, to Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia. From Manaus, sails in an open boat up the Rio Negro and Rio Branco. Speech to the "Premières Rencontres Européennes du Cadre de Vie" at UNESCO Paris in December. World travelling museum exhibition: Tokyo, Yokohama, Hong Kong, Cape Town, Pretoria, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, São Paulo, Caracas. Albertina travelling exhibition: U.S., Germany and Canada.



Spends January and February in the "Hahnsäge" in Waldviertel, Lower Austria, in the snow with his friend Brô and paints seven pictures.
After six years of development he completes a 3-D object with Alberto della Vecchia, 780 Fall in Cloud – Fall in Fog – Fall Out. Designs the Peace Flag for the Holy Land, with a green Arab crescent moon and blue Star of David against a white background, and publishes his Peace Manifesto. Travels to Senegal as guest of President Léopold Sédar Senghor. World travelling exhibition: Mexico City, Montreal, Toronto, Brussels, Budapest. Albertina travelling exhibition: Canada, Germany, Morocco.



Travels to New York, San Francisco, Tahiti, New Zealand; Peace Flag and Peace Manifesto are sent by Austrian Federal Chancellor Bruno Kreisky to Middle-Eastern heads of state. Three stamps printed for the Republic of Senegal and one for the Republic of Cape Verde Islands, engraved by Wolfgang Seidel. Creates five coin objects in Vienna: Like entrance money into paradise. Experiments with humus toilets without chimney vent and indoor and outdoor water purification with plants. Reads manifesto on recycling Shit Culture – Holy Shit at Pfäffikon on the Lake of Zurich. Designs the book Ao Tea Roa edited by Hans Brockstedt. Spends the summer painting in Algajola on Corsica. World travelling exhibition: Madrid, Pfäffikon. Albertina travelling exhibition: Portugal, Spain, Germany, Italy, Great Britain. The travelling exhibition Hundertwasser Is Painting, with 40 works starts in Aberbach Fine Art, New York.



At the start of the year, travels to Qatar, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and New Zealand. Presents 5 model designs for the apartment house at Löwengasse/Kegelgasse commissioned by the Municipality of Vienna. "Hundertwasser Day" in Washington, D.C. on November 18th, proclaimed by Mayor Marion Barry. Jr. The first 12 of 100 trees are planted in Judiciary Square, Washington, D.C. and the anti-nuclear poster Plant Trees – Avert Nuclear Peril is presented 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 a more human architecture in harmony with nature in the U.S. Senate, the Corcoran Museum, the Philipps Collection in Washington, D.C.; in Berlin on the occasion of the 2nd European Ecology Symposium, in Vienna and Oslo Technical Universities. Spends the summer painting on the island of Porquerolles. World travelling exhibition: Rome, Milan, Oslo, Cologne Albertina travelling exhibition: France, Germany, U.S. Hundertwasser Is Painting: Tokyo, Hamburg, Oslo.



At the start of the year, travels with Brô to India, Nepal, New Zealand. On 14 May, receives the 1980 Grand Austrian State Prize for the Arts; reception speech, The False Art, against nuclear energy and negativistic avant-garde in modern art. Receives the Austrian Nature Preservation Prize. Lectures on the environment, architecture and art in Cologne, Munich, Frankfurt, Graz, Vienna, East Berlin, Hamburg. Spends summer painting at Wolfgangsee, Salzburg. World travelling exhibition: Vienna, Graz, East Berlin, Helsinki, Bucharest.  Albertina travelling exhibition: France, South America, U.S., Germany. Exhibition Hundertwasser Is Painting: Vienna. Appointed head of a Masterschool for painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. Writes Guidelines for the Hundertwasser Master School.



Finishes 16 paintings in New Zealand and Venice. Travels to Chieng Mai in June, to Sardinia in September. As "architecture doctor" redesigns the façade of the Rosenthal Factory in Selb. Makes a model to redesign a Coal-Rinsing Facility in Hamm, Westphalia, and ceramic tongue-beards for the façade of the Museum Rupertinum, Salzburg. Donates poster Artists for Peace to the Krefeld Initiative. Lectures on architecture, environmental protection and art in Sydney, Manila, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington D.C. in November and December. "Hundertwasser Week" in San Francisco from December 5th to 12th, 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. Travels to Tahiti and New Zealand. World travelling exhibition: Sofia Albertina travelling exhibition: France, Germany, South America, U.S., Australia Exhibition at Artcurial in Paris features 20 new and 20 old paintings. Catalogue with texts by Hundertwasser, Pieyre de Mandiargues, Alain Jouffroy.



Edition of six postage stamps for the United Nations – 2 each for New York, Geneva and Vienna – engraved by Wolfgang Seidel. Founds a committee for the preservation of the old Kawakawa Post Office, New Zealand. Foundation stone of the Hundertwasser House is laid in Vienna. Works on silkscreen 860 Homo Humus Come Va How Do You Do in 10002 different versions in Spinea, Venice. Redesigns the outside walls of a silo at the Danube harbour in Krems. Creates the open-air model of the Highrise Meadow House at the IGA garden exhibition in Munich. Works on the book Schöne Wege – Gedanken über Kunst und Leben (Beautiful Paths: Thoughts on Art and Life). Designs a flag for New Zealand, the Koru, an unfurled fern.  Travels to Kenya, the Seychelles and New Zealand. World travelling exhibition: London, York, Edinburgh. Lecture at the Royal College of Art, London.



Lives in New Zealand, Tahiti, Venice and Normandy. TV broadcast "The Fall of the Avant-Garde" in Munich with Brauer, Fuchs and Hrdlicka. Receives the City of Goslar's Environmental Protection Prize. Topping-out ceremony at the Hundertwasser House in Vienna. Works on the construction site. Receives the prize for the most attractive stamp from President Pertini, Italy, for SFr 1.20 stamp for the U.N., Geneva. Exhibitions in Vaduz, Bern, Wels, Zug, Lindau. Takes an active part in campaigns to save the Hainburg riparian forest. Camps there for a week. Designs the poster Hainburg - Die freie Natur ist unsere Freiheit (Free Nature is Our Freedom); tears up his Grand Austrian State Prize in protest.



Works all year on the building site of the Hundertwasser House, Vienna, together with architect Peter Pelikan, who becomes the artist’s closest collaborator in the field of architecture. 70,000 visitors attend the “Open House”. Nominated "Officier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres" by French Minister of Culture Jack Lang, presented over by the French Ambassador in Vienna in 1987. At the end of the year travels back to New Zealand via Toronto, Los Angeles, Tahiti. Exhibition of graphic works in the Musée Gauguin, Tahiti, in December.



February 17th: the Hundertwasser House is presented to its tenants. 1,000 green Koru-flags flown in New Zealand; great interest shown by the population, press and in parliament. Designs Uluru - Down Under Flag for Australia. Returns from New Zealand in December via Australia, India and Nepal. World travelling exhibition: Brno and Prague, Czechoslovakia. Exhibitions in: Sweden, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein. Works on the design of the Brockhaus Encyclopaedia in this and the following year. René Brô dies in Paris, where he lived in Hundertwasser's studio.



Cept Europalia 1987, a Hundertwasser 6-schilling commemorative stamp, depicting the Hundertwasser-House, appears in March. Designs the poster for Luna Luna by André Heller and the poster for the Europalia. Redesigns the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels for the Europalia. Redesigns Church of St. Barbara in Bärnbach, Styria, and plans a Children's Day-care Centre in Heddernheim, Frankfurt.
World travelling exhibition: Czechoslovakia.



Paints in Waldviertel, Lower Austria. Upon the invitation of mayor Helmut Zilk, he takes on the task of redesigning Vienna's Spittelau Heating Plant, in collaboration with architect Peter Pelikan. Travels to New Zealand; after his return, resumes work on the construction of the Church of St. Barbara in Bärnbach. Produces the colour etching 899 Bärnbacher Andacht as a contribution towards the renovation costs of the church. Writes manifesto Cultural Austria Against the Deportation and Destruction of Villages in Siebenbürgen, Romania. Architecture exhibition in the Galerie Hilger, Frankfurt. He teaches at the International Summer Academy in Salzburg, conducts a master class on Humane Architecture in Harmony with Nature with Efthymios Warlamis and Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt. Consecration of the Church of St. Barbara, Bärnbach. Foundation stone of the Children’s Day-care Centre in Heddernheim, Frankfurt, is laid on 20 December. Redesigns and campaigns to retain the black Austrian licence plate. Works on the design of the Brockhaus Encyclopaedia. Awarded the Golden Medal of Honour of the City of Vienna and the Golden Medal of Honour of the State of Styria.



Further involvement in the campaign to preserve Austrian identity in the matter of licence plates. The Hundertwasser Brockhaus Encyclopaedia appears in November. Creates Semi-Dako (Japanese kite) for a museum show in Japan. Builds architecture model In the Meadow Hills for the 22nd district in Vienna, rejected for fear of its attraction for tourists. Lecture on architecture The Green City in Baden, Switzerland. Leaves for New Zealand in December. Exhibitions in the U.S., France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Museum travel exhibition in Japan.



Works on architecture projects: KunstHausWien; Motorway Restaurant Bad Fischau; AGIP Service Station, Vienna; District Heating Plant Spittelau, Vienna; In the Meadows, Bad Soden, Germany; Village Shopping Mall, Vienna; Textile Factory Muntlix, Vorarlberg; Winery Napa Valley, California. Exhibitions: France, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany. Spends the spring in New Zealand, lectures at Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Auckland and Blenheim for the "Living Treasure Programme" and 30-minute TV film production.



Inauguration of KunstHausWien in April. Returns to New Zealand, resumes painting. Conceives and develops architecture projects: Thermal Village Blumau, Styria, for Rogner Austria, which is an adapted realisation of Hundertwasser's In the Meadow Hills – Rolling Hills idea. Town planning scheme for Griffen, Carinthia, Austria. Apartment house in Plochingen, Germany. Presentation of the Hundertwasser Art Jeton designed for Casino Austria. Liechtenstein commissions Hundertwasser to design a commemorative postage stamp and to co-ordinate the series "Hommage au Liechtenstein". Other postage stamps designs by Jean Tinguely, Paul Wunderlich, Enrico Baj and René Brô.



Designs 4 phone cards for the Austrian Postal Service and a postage stamp commemorating the European Council Summit in Vienna 1993. The exhibition Creative Architecture – Eternal Longing tours shopping centres in Germany (with 12 architectural models). Exhibition in Tokyo: Hundertwasser – His Art, His Ecology, His Architecture. Presentation of the model for Griffen and panel discussion "The Rebirth of Griffen – Does Carinthia need a Hundertwasser Project?" Ceremony at the apartment project in Bad Soden, Germany. Presentation of the first model for the Thermal Village Blumau. Press conference on completion of the Spittelau District Heating Plant. 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. Guest lecture at Takasaki Arts Center College, Japan.



Paints in New Zealand, works on the Hundertwasser Bible project. Designs the cover of the Stowasser Latin Dictionary. Involvement in the campaign opposing Austria's joining the European Union. Topping-out ceremony of the residential complex Living Beneath the Rain Tower in Plochingen, Germany.  Humane redesign of the Cancer Ward of the University Clinic in Graz, Austria. Projects for fountains in Zwettl, Lower Austria, and Linz, Upper Austria. On the occasion of his 65th birthday Television broadcasts the holiday matinee "Person-to-Person" in Theater in der Josefstadt, Vienna. Court proceedings on diffamation and blackmailing of his person end with prison sentences of all 3 offenders.



Continues the campaign against Austria's joining the EU. Architecture exhibitions in Vienna, in the Historic Museum of the City of Budapest and in Hanover. Dedication of the drinking fountain in Linz, the fountain in Zwettl and the Living Beneath the Rain Tower complex in Plochingen, Germany. Architecture projects for Budapest. Exhibition at Landau Fine Art, Montreal, Canada.



Three postage stamps for Luxembourg as well as three more postage stamps for the U.N. commemorating the world summit on social development in Copenhagen. Commemorative cancellation on the 25th anniversary of the "Premio Internazionale Asiago d'arte filatelica". Works on Thermal Village Blumau. Redesign of Martin Luther Gymnasium in Wittenberg, Germany. Architecture exhibition in Rotterdam and Nuremberg. Presentation of the Hundertwasser Bible. Designs for the exterior of a Boeing B 757 for the German Condor Airline, rejected. Architecture design for the children's museum Kids Plaza in Osaka, Japan.



Exhibition of architecture models at the Karstadt department store in Munich. Exhibition at the Municipal Museum in Braunschweig and at the Schleswig-Holstein House, Schwerin. Unveiling of the Danube ship, MS Vindobona, redesigned by Hundertwasser. Awarded the Tourism Prize of the Viennese Industry for 1996.



Presentation of the architecture project The Forest Spiral of Darmstadt. Exhibition of stamp designs, graphic works 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. Short trip to the Urupukapuka Bay in New Zealand on "La Giudecca", a small steel ship from Venice. Visits to Singapore, Napa Valley – architectural work on the Winery, San Francisco and New York. Inauguration of the Thermal Village Blumau, Styria. Designs for architecture projects “MOP” Maishima Incineration Plant, Osaka, Japan, Hohe-Haine-Dresden (High Groves), Germany, Market Hall Altenrhein, Switzerland. Beginning of construction at the Martin Luther Gymnasium in Wittenberg, Germany. Awarded the “Grand Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria” (posthumously conferred in March 2000). Lives and paints in La Picaudière, Normandy.



Retrospective museum exhibition at Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt, Germany. Museum exhibition tour in Japan at the Isetan Museum of Art, Tokyo, Museum "EKi", Kyoto, Sakura City Museum of Art, Chiba. Artprint edition, donated by Hundertwasser to raise funds for the special support of the reconstruction of the Martin Luther Gymnasium in Wittenberg, Germany. Awarded the "VDRJ-Prize 1998" in Berlin for outstanding services to tourism by the Association of German Travel Journalists. The Submersion of Atlantis, a ceramic-mural is installed at the new Orient Metro station in Lisbon. Creates and donates an original poster Among Trees You Are At Home to support an ecological project for afforestation of the desert in Israel. Architecture design for the Pumping station, Sakishima Island, and for the Sludge Center, Osaka, Japan. Works on the silkscreen portfolio La Giudecca Colorata.



Works on architectural projects The Green Citadel of Magdeburg and Ronald McDonald-House in Essen, Germany. Presentation of the architecture project Hundertwasser Environmental Railroad Station, Germany. Reconstruction work for the new Kawakawa Public Toilet, New Zealand.  Museum exhibitions tour in Japan: Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Nagoya City Art Museum, The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Kobe, The Museum of Modern Art Saitama. Writes manifesto Creation holds © Copyright. Designs the layout and book covers for his Catalogue Raisonné and writes commentaries to many of his paintings.



Works on architecture projects for Tenerife and Dillingen/Saar, Germany. Dies of heart failure on Saturday, February, 19, in the Pacific, on board of Queen Elizabeth 2. In accordance with his wishes, he is buried in harmony with nature on his land in New Zealand, in the Garden of the Happy Deads, under a tulip tree.


© Die Hundertwasser Gemeinnützige Privatstiftung, Wien, Österreich