Hundertwasser’s early environmental warnings

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Hundertwasser’s early environmental warnings

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“Yellow Houses - It Hurts to Wait with Love If Love Is Somewhere Else” is one of Hundertwasser’s most famous paintings. [NAMIDA AG]

Austria’s beautiful skyline does not only include old buildings and cathedrals, but also waste incineration plants. Designed by the famous Austrian artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Spittelau is a district heating plant that boasts splendid colors and curves. Some might be awestruck that such an uninviting facility is standing right in the middle of Vienna, but this is only before they take a look at the structure.

Born in 1928, Hundertwasser devoted his life to alerting people about the hazards of pollution. His wide range of art, ranging from posters and tapestries to paintings and architectural sketches, deliver messages about the beauty of nature and the need to start caring for it. Living as a naturalist until his death in 2000, Hundertwasser was one of the few figures of his time who anticipated the perils of pollution.

Around 140 art pieces by Hundertwasser have been flown to Seoul, sharing with Koreans his love for the earth through his eco-friendly works.

For him, all that was horizontal was natural, while all that was vertical seemed fabricated and artificial. This is why Hundertwasser never painted on an easel, instead always working with his canvas laid down. After his paintings were done, he took them out to gardens to see if his art blended in well with actual trees and flowers.

The exhibit allows audiences to take a look at some of his structures, including the Spittelau, through construction models. Although Hundertwasser never received formal architectural education, his unique and organic structures earned him the nickname “Austria’s Antoni Gaudi.”

BY SHON JI-HYE [shon.jihye@joongang.co.kr]

“Hundertwasser: The Green City” runs until Mar. 12. at Sejong Museum of Art, Jongno District, central Seoul and opens from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets for adults are 15,000 won ($12.50).

For more information, call (02) 399-1114 or go to www.sejongpac.or.kr
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