Friedensreich Hundertwasser

It is incomprehensible why the roofs of Vienna are not being used as parks and forests.

This 20th-Cenntury Austrian painter and sculptor was born in Vienna as Friedrich Stowasser. In 1948, he entered the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied for only four months. A year later, he changed his name to Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser, as he wanted to add meaning to it. Hundertwasser travelled a lot, especially between 1949 and 1952, to North America, Italy and Paris. He was influenced by such artists as Gustav Klimt and Paul Klee. Very successful in the 1960s, he became recognised for his two-dimensional ornamental style full of various colours, visible for instance in his modern mosaics. Also, in 1962 he had a retrospective in the Austrian Pavilion at the famous Biennale in Venice, and two years later in Hannover. Hundertwasser was also an active representative of the ecological movement, making controversial nudist speeches and ideological statements concerning peace and art. As an architect, he planned and realised such buildings as the Hundertwasser Haus and the front of the Heating Plant Spittelau, both of which are in Vienna.