Friedensreich Hundertwasser

I love Schiele, Picasso and Klee and their ilk, and Giotto, the old masters and the like. But in-between and besides them there is a yawning emptiness. The simple is still broad.

I often dream like Schiele, my father, about flowers that are red, and birds and flying fish and gardens in velvet and emerald green and human beings who walk, weeping, in red-yellow and ocean-blue.
Yet I am barred from paradise. 

Why does one not let children draw their figures on sidewalks, and their lines on walls and murals in the streets?
I swear, let them draw their lines of pure thick gold.
En voila une methode de devenir riche par les traits des enfants.
[Voila, a possibility to get rich through the line drawings of children.]

Nothing can save you, not Christianity, not Communism, not a bourgeois life; let the children speak, and the painters and architects; let them speak, they who know about a new religion, let those act whom you ridicule, whom you do not notice and who wish you well.

We are alone.
We must support people. 
We must build houses. 
Nobody supports us.

European man begins to die immediately after he is born, and he is already dead when he is approximately ten years old.
I want to wait until my pain transforms into eternity. Turbulent week. How long? Will I have the strength to wait? I will be alone, today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, too?

Je suis passé à l'autre côté de la Seine de Trocadero jusqu'à la Ponte des Arts. A l'autre côté les Têtes etaient petites. [I crossed to the other side of the Seine, from Trocadero to the Ponte des Arts. On the other side the heads were small.]

What sounds mean in German sounds beautiful in French: de loin on ne pouvait plus voir les sexes. Faut il vraiement que je meurs? Ce que j'écris ne me détende pas. Il existent des millions d'hommes qui ne trouvent plus la pitié. Comment font-ils? Ils ne se suicident pas tous.  
[from the distance one can no longer recognize the sexes. Do I really have to die? What I write, does not relax me. There are millions of people who no longer find pity. How do they manage? Not all of them commit suicide.]

There is no island built for me neither here nor beyond. Whatever I will do will decay.

I love only the lines drawn by children, but sadly. For I am not worthy of them. I am knowing, guilty or equally not guilty, I can’t become unknowing.

Fez. It is a beautiful city that enchanted me, a mosaic of boxes in gray and mosques with emerald stones, and the soil has many colors.
My life will be without love, M. told me.
Und yet, I am happy at the moment and I always will be.
I will place the color as opulent as the houses here stand together in gray and green.
And I feel it arising in me; it has not deceived me.
One should not kill me.

Schiele should still be alive. I would tell him wonderful things from my journey.
Perhaps it is better that I cannot tell him things, for now I have to tell and give it to everybody.
One should not kill me beforehand.

A painting by you is good only when it can say more than the drawings of children, when it is equally beautiful as the appearance of ploughed fields and human beings and girls who come towards you, and almost as beautiful as the leaves of trees and grass, as the flowers.

Faisant les peintures nées de la douleur
Je me comprends moins que les autres me comprennent encore 
Les paysages que je parcours et parcourerai

Je ne les connais pas d'avance
Mais je deviens de plus en plus riche

[To paint pictures born from pain. I understand myself
less than others still do. The landscapes which I perambulate
and which I still will perambulate, I do not know them before, 
but I become richer and richer.]


From the diaries 1950/1951.

Published in:

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. 58-59 and ed. 2004 (Munich, Langen Müller Verlag), pp. 47-49 (German)

Exhibition catalogue: Hundertwasser - Kunst - Mensch - Natur (Hundertwasser - Art - Man - Nature), Minoritenkloster, Tulln/Austria, 2004, pp. 25-26 (German)

Hirsch, Andreas (ed.): Hundertwasser - The Art of the Green Path, Exhibition catalogue KunstHausWien. Munich: Prestel Verlag, 2011, p. 34 (excerpt)

Wipplinger, Hans-Peter (ed.): Hundertwasser - Schiele. Imagine Tomorrow, Exhibition catalogue Leopold Museum. Cologne: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, 2020, pp. 144-145 (German)