Friedensreich Hundertwasser

I want constantly to improve.

The creative impotence of the individual having become totally out of hand, as expressed by standardisation, socialisation, copying, linearisation, ant-ification, sterilisation, and dosisation, a new and terrible illiteracy has developed. The responsibility for this lies with the criminal methodology of our system of instruction as practised in the universities, academies, finishing schools, and schools. The systematic and counternatural learning, studying, and copying of alien knowledge is performed hand in hand with the systematic killing of the will to shape and create things. The people produced by such education are incapable of assuming the intended responsibility for themselves and for us all. Official and universal progress is thus based on a fundamental error.

Conscience dictates that we draw the public's attention to this. To this end the undersigned representatives of fundamentally differing schools of the paint brush and thought resolved to join hands and, despite grave differences in our view of the world, found the Pintorarium together.

All three undersigned have waged a fruitful struggle in Europe independently and on their own in the past ten years, and it has produced pintoral as well as problematical effects. All three have independently presented philosophies of their own to the public, as witnessed by a plethora of theories, writings, lectures, manifestations, demonstrations and exhibitions.

The Pintorarium is a breeding ground for educating the creative elite. The Pintorarium is an institution in which pintorating is done (a pintoir). The Pintorarium is not only a school of painting, but especially a school of thinking and life, as well. The Pintorarium is a spiritual plateau headed by a pintorection which is entitled to assign chairs to a number of highly qualified creative people. However, these chairs are not intended for instruction, but for creative, autonomous concentration. They are rocking chairs whose function is similar to those of bathtubs and prayer stools.
The Pintorarium is home to all creative persons without discrimination as to arts, artistic persuasion and philosophy, architecture, poetry, film, music etc. etc. But wonderful painting and its fruitful philosophical variety will be the central sun flowing through the Pintorarium. The three undersigned (pintorectors) do not intend to occupy a position of supremacy nor to set an example, but only to embody a growing awareness of a never breaking and increasingly ramifying chain of equally ranked creative agents.

The fundamental principle of the Pintorarium is individual autonomy. Emulation is prohibited. There are no models.

Students, learners, pupilers find in the Pintorarium neither support nor point of departure. No lifeline is thrown to them. However, everybody active or inactive there defends his own theses.
My theses are: moulding and its theory. The renewal of architecture through moulding. The trinity of architecture. The decomposition of rationalistic architecture. Abolishing of architectural censorship. Spiraloid and fluidoid painting. The doctrine of erosion. Animals may be reared and plants loved there, too. The grammar of seeing. Transautomatism = general mobilisation of the eye. The doctrine of the transautomatic object (tao), its contemplation and generation. The doctrine of infinite layers = isms. Combatting creative impotence. Stretching paper on the canvas. The preciousness of colours. Going barefoot. Eating wheat for independence. Narcissism. Egotism as the sole valid form of altruism. Effective weapons. The true dichotomy, creative-not creative, replaces the wrong one of good-evil. The labyrinth as order. The eye. Learning to love the political symbols as graphic symbols. The treasures and cracks found in streets and sidewalks. Throwing bombs for a creative transautomatic education, as a lesson in morphology. Lying down on the sidewalk.

Not only the attitude, but also the clothing of the Pintorarians is outstanding, individual, colourful, and subtle. No white coats. No bad odours. You don't get dirty. The architectural structure of the Pintorarium is subject to no building censorship of any kind. However, to demonstrate the process of moulding and currency devalution, one room remains in the customary rectangular proportions.
Building goes on permanently. Nothing is destroyed. We appeal to Austrian youth not to attend the existing public and private art academies and philosophical institutions anymore and to help in constructing the Pintorarium with all the strength of their creative desires. We call on the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Vienna to dissolve and join the Pintorarium.

We call on the Austrian people to put up passive resistance to automatisation, sterilisation, and uniformisation. Stop buying plates and other consumer commodities that you know or assume have been mass-produced. So as not to become accomplices to the crime, refuse to mass-produce commodities. Stay away from any organisation, association, or group which trade unions, the military, school, religions, philosophies, and political parties are exerting pressure on you to belong to.

Don't let yourselves be seized and registered. Don't be successors. Look to yourself. Be aware that the radio, newspapers, film, advertising, television are instruments of subjugation. Anything linear should be met with distrust.

Don't carry any straight lines around with you.
The Pintorarium achieves educational forms by force of argument, particularly the abolition of compulsory schooling and its replacement by wonderful creativity. The Pintorarium is the point of departure for a spiritual revolution. Complete tax exemption for craftsmen and individual farmers (not for agribusinessmen).

I shall try to give my best in accordance with my creative conscience and never to tire in my autonomous activity.
I do not want to grow dim-witted.


Written and published as a manifesto in Vienna. On September 17, 1959 the artists Hundertwasser, Ernst Fuchs and Arnulf Rainer founded the »Pintorarium«, a universal academy of all creative fields. 

Published in:

Catalogues of the World Travelling Museum Exhibition 1975-1987: French edition: Paris, Luxembourg, Marseille, Cairo, 1975; Copenhagen, Dakar, 1976; Montreal, Brussels, 1978. pp. 181-183, German edition: Cologne, 1980; Vienna, Graz, 1981. pp. 115-119

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. 123-126 and ed. 2004 (Munich, Langen Müller Verlag), pp. 144-146 (German)

Das Hundertwasser Haus (The Hundertwasser House). Vienna: Österreichischer Bundesverlag/Compress Verlag, 1985, pp. 50-51 (German)

Hundertwasser Architecture. For a More Human Architecture in Harmony with Nature. Cologne: Taschen, 1997, pp. 50-51 (English)

Exhibition catalogue: Hundertwasser - Kunst - Mensch - Natur (Hundertwasser - Art - Man - Nature), Minoritenkloster, Tulln/Austria, 2004, p. 102 (German, excerpt)

Hirsch, Andreas (ed.): Hundertwasser - The Art of the Green Path, Exhibition catalogue KunstHausWien. Munich: Prestel Verlag, 2011, p. 109 (excerpt)

Grunenberg, Christoph and Becker, Astrid (ed.): Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Gegen den Strich. Werke 1949-1970, Exhibition catalogue Kunsthalle Bremen. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2012, pp. 228-231 (German)