Vienna, Obere Donaustraße, January - June 1952


Woven by: the artist on the loom of Fritz Riedl and Johanna Schidlo without cartoon or rough sketch, with the co-operation of Schiedlo-Riedl's students Sylvia Tommasoni, Herta Mutter and Bumbi Steiner. Woven in wool with 4 warp threads/cm.
2800 mm x 1400 mm
Collection: KunstHausWien, Vienna
Hundertwasser comment about the work:

The tapestry which I did in Vienna in 1952 would not exist if it was not for a bet. The two weavers Riedl and Schidlo insisted, a tapestry can only be woven after a cartoon the size of the tapestry itself. My opinion was that it could be done without and as I did not give in, they lent me a loom. I dragged it home myself, I believe it was on a push-cart, and the two weavers helped me to erect the loom and lent me coloured wool in many tints and then I started weaving. I was amazed to see how endless it got; it grew a few millimeters per day only. I always had to push the wool back into the warp with the comb-hammer and thus 5 cms became one or two millimeters. I slowly worked my tapestry upwards and it took me six months during which I worked from eight in the morning till eight at night with hands and feet - never in my life have I laboured so intensely and for so long a time. I began with the toes, they became a trouserleg and to the right of it appeared a house. As I wove I kept thinking what could fill the background and what I could conceive for higher-up. As I had started on with a trouser-leg, a body had to follow, arms, and a head; there were to be windows in the background, and if one makes windows, there must be a roof to top them off, and this is how I finished the tapestry and won my bet. It is interesting to weave like that, all alone, for months on end in the same room. To start on in winter, and winter turns to spring and to summer and the work progresses by millimeters only. I worked with all four extremities, with the right foot and the left, with the right and the left hand. I have photos from that period where I look like a monkey, working with all four hands. (from: Cat. Barbican Art Gallery, London, 1983, pp. 344 f.)

The tapestry was lent to Jean Dubuffet, Paris, in spring 1954

 


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