Friedensreich Hundertwasser

We are no longer able to form parables to life. We are no longer able to create, to interpret events around and in us; we do not even recognize such events.

We have stopped being God’s likeness and our existence is no longer justified. In truth, we are dead. No longer do we live from our own strength, we feed upon long-decayed knowledge. We crush the last bit of life, rebelling, true, spontaneous and varied life within us and within our children, first through the poison of our educational system and later on through general levelling. Our educational system is methodical killing.

We are born into a grey column on the march, proceeding into the colourless, the meaningless and the collective. The column on the march is called Europe. The men of the new creative impulse, because of their still existing our newly regained sensibility, have realized that the way is wrong and refuse to continue, despite the pressure of the masses.

Those who wish to be truly creative, who wish to unfold their talents, are forced to clear away the morass first, which we have heaped upon them, a morass, whose malice is revealed by the present confusion of modern art, who has not, in the past fifty years, been able to free itself from it.

But the language of this new art grows ever more transparent. A few transautomatists have worked the miracle of a new creativity, no longer prevented by our european bluff-civilization.

Art is now gaining certain tasks which science and religion pretended to be able to solve, but these tasks have definitely exceeded their competence.

It has become necessary to make visible and to hand on limitless realities, which can no longer be defined or understood by our uncouth language, nor by our numbers system, the notes of our octav-system, neither can they be realized by microscopy, photography or the images of the gods of our religions. Modern art post 1950 dares to offer more lucidity than science, more security than religion, money and arms. The human beings who strive after all-embracing creation try to catch up with the new, phenomenal discoveries which have fallen into our unprepared hands and for the use of which we lack all spiritual and human qualifications.


Text for the exhibit at the Vienna Art-Club, January 1953.

Published in:

Exhibition catalogue for Haus der Kunst, Munich 1975. Glarus/Switzerland: Gruener Janura AG, 1975, pp. 111-113 (German)

Catalogues of the World Travelling Museum Exhibition 1975–1987: French edition: Paris, Luxembourg, Marseille, Cairo, 1975; Copenhagen, Dakar, 1976; Montreal, Brussels, 1978. pp. 121-123 English edition: Tel Aviv, Reykjavik, 1976; Cape Town, Pretoria, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasilia, Caracas, 1977; Mexico City, Toronto, 1978; Rome, Høvikodden, 1980; Helsinki, 1981; London, 1983. pp. 421-423, German edition: Warsaw, 1976; Pfäffikon/Lake Zurich, 1979; Cologne, 1980; Vienna, Graz, 1981. pp. 105-106

Schurian, Walter (ed.): Hundertwasser – Schöne Wege, Gedanken über Kunst und Leben. (Beautiful Paths – Thoughts on Art and Life) Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag (dtv), 1983, pp. 63-64 and ed. 2004 (Munich, Langen Müller Verlag), pp. 78-79 (German)

Hirsch, Andreas (ed.): Hundertwasser – The Art of the Green Path, Exhibition catalogue KunstHausWien. Munich: Prestel Verlag, 2011, p. 53 (excerpt)

Grunenberg, Christoph and Becker, Astrid (ed.): Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Gegen den Strich. Werke 1949-1970, Exhibition catalogue Kunsthalle Bremen. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2012, p. 39 (German)