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date: 20 November 2019

Hundertwasser [Stowasser], Friedensreich [Friedrich; Fritz] locked

(b Vienna, Dec 15, 1928; d New Zealand, Feb 19, 2000).
  • Harry Rand

Extract

[Friedrich; Fritz]

(b Vienna, Dec 15, 1928; d New Zealand, Feb 19, 2000).

Austrian painter and printmaker. Born to a Jewish mother, he foiled the Nazis and was able to shield some of his relatives for a time. During Nazi rule he studied in Vienna, at public schools and at the Montessori school before briefly attending the Akademie der Bildenden Künste. His floridly patterned works with their haunting and rich colours are dependent on the decorative tradition that produced Art Nouveau. The luxurious, sinuous forms and expressive distortions affiliate him to figurative artists such as Klimt and Schiele. Hundertwasser’s subject-matter modified these stylistic sources and was often influenced by his great interest in a sane environment expressed as a stable relationship between man, the built world and nature. He travelled widely and developed a pictorial vocabulary unspecific to any place or time. Hundertwasser made significant contributions to printing techniques with such works as the woodcut series Nana Hiakv Mizu (1973; with Japanese artists). The decorative and technical opulence of his work made him a controversial figure with the critics, while assuring him a large popular following....

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