Encounters with Hundertwasser and his artistic work


My first encounter with Hundertwasser paintings was in the early 70s in a small gallery in Paris. These Hundertwasser pictures impressed me with their strong colours and their strong contrast to the black background.

Hundertwasser architecture
Hundertwasser house vienna

Window design in Hundertwasser houses

A few years later I became aware of the window design in Hundertwasser houses. Hundertwasser postulated the window right! Each window was painted in an individual way, colorfully framed and decorated with a simple mosaic.

No window looked like the other. Individuality had become the right and duty of every inhabitant.

One episode

In Vienna, the Hundertwasser architecture attracted a great deal of attention. I remember one episode when Hundertwasser was already my teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts: He leafed through my drawings and he liked a sheet with a purple window so much that he asked me if he could take it home.

He wanted to look at her in peace. I took the opportunity to suggest that I would exchange it for a small Hundertwasser picture.

Hundertwasser, however, said that he did not possess any originals of his works. I gave him my painting with the purple window.

Hundertwasser in Vienna at the Art Academy

Professor Gustav Hessing, my master school teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts, died in January 1981. Hundertwasser was appointed as his successor.

Many students of the former Hessing master class were no longer welcome. They had to find new teachers.

I was lucky. Hundertwasser liked my work from the beginning and so my progress at the academy was secured.

However, the familiar ambience of the master class had to give way to a unifying black. Both the easels, which for ten years were painted with oil paint by many students, and the furniture, were painted black overnight!

In the middle of the room there was a cascade-like waterfall. In front of the high windows, which guaranteed us a lot of daylight, stood huge plants. These plants had to be additionally illuminated. All this happened without consultation with the students. Hundertwasser had ordered all this.

Often instructions came to us students by means of a language cassette, which he sent us from New Zealand. I hurried to get my diploma. And so I was the first student to receive the diploma for painting from Hundertwasser.

I was very lucky at the diploma exhibition. I had left for Florence before the exhibition. In my absence some of my wax pictures were selected and given handsome prices. They were all sold when I got back!

Margit Taus gets her diploma from Hundertwasser
Margit Taus gets her diploma from Hundertwasser

Go back