Friedensreich Hundertwasser

An ecologist without a conscience is doomed to failure, and the same is true of an artist who does not bow to the laws of nature.


The world has not improved. The dangers felt have turned into reality.

Nevertheless, today, although nothing has been done, my longstanding warnings are at last being taken seriously.

Yet there are still no lawns on the roofs, no tree-tenants, no plant-driven water purification plants, no humus toilets, no rights to windows, no duties to the trees. The essential reafforestation of the town has not come about.


What we lack is a peace treaty with nature. We must restore to nature the territories we have unlawfully taken from it. Everything horizontal under the sky belongs to nature. Everything touched by the rays of the sun, everywhere where the rain falls is nature’s sacred and inviolable property. We men are merely nature’s guests.


In 1952 I spoke of the civilization of make-believe, the one we must shake off, myself, the first of all! I spoke of columns of grey men on the march toward sterility and self-destruction. The same year I used the term »transautomation« to show the way beyond the rationalism of technocrats toward a new creation in harmony with the laws of nature.


In 1953 I realized that the straight line leads to the downfall of mankind. But the straight line has become an absolute tyranny. The straight line is something cowardly drawn with a rule, without thought or feeling; it is a line which does not exist in nature. And that line is the rotten foundation of our doomed civilization. Even if there are certain places where it is recognized that this line is rapidly leading to perdition, its course continues to be plotted. The straight line is atheistic and immoral.

The straight line is the only sterile line, the only line which does not suit man as the image of God. The straight line is the forbidden fruit. The straight line is the curse of our civilization. Any design undertaken with the straight line will be stillborn.

Today we are witnessing the triumph of rationalist know how and yet, at the same time, we find ourselves confronted with emptiness. An esthetic void, desert of uniformity, criminal sterility, loss of creative power. Even creativity is prefabricated. We have become impotent. We are no longer able to create. That is our real illiteracy.


Written in 1985.

Published in:

Mathey, J. F.: Hundertwasser, Naefels: Bonfini Press Corporation, 1985