Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000) was born in Vienna as Friedrich
Stowasser. He initially gained acclaim for his paintings, but is currently more
renowned for his unique architectural stylings. His revolutionary ecological
stands with regard to architecture have earned him the nickname
"Architecture-Healer." His works have been used for flags and stamps,
coins and posters, schools and churches.
In his youth, Hundertwasser attended a Montessori school
in Vienna, which influenced both his affinity for vibrant colors and respect of
nature. He collected pebbles and pressed flowers as a child, demonstrating an
interest in items that are precious and small at an early age, which later
manifested itself in his collections of Venetian glass and Japanese fabrics.
In 1948 Friendensreich Hundertwasser studied at the Vienna Academy of
Fine Arts for 4 months. A year later he changed his name to Friedensreich
Hundertwasser, which means "full-of-peace hundred-water". From 1949
to 1952 he undertook many journeys to North
Africa and Paris, where he started
to deal with the paintings of Gustav Klimt, Paul Klee and others.
In 1962 Hundertwasser had his international break
through at the Biennale in Venice. Around this time he also made ideological statements, with his famous
nudist speeches and his call for peace, ecology and new forms of architecture.
Not unlike the artists of the Session Movement, he saw art as a decoration.
Hundertwasser got even more famous as an architect. From 1986 to 1991 he
planned and realised different buildings, like the Hundertwasser Haus and the
front of the waste combustion Spittelau.
Over the years Hundertwasser designed stamps for Austria, Cape Verde, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Senegal,
the Council of Europe (France), Cuba
and a private mail company in New Zealand.
Among stamp collectors the designs for the United Nations are some of the most
In 1983 six stamps were issued for the 35th anniversary of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. These were followed in 1995 by three stamps for
the Social Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark.
On the occasion of his death the UNPA issued a post
card with a reproduction of both types of stamps.
Austria 2 June 2000
Austria 18 September 2008
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