In 2014 KUNST HAUS WIEN is once again supporting a Hundertwasser exhibition: The Arken Museum in Ishoj near Copenhagen is presenting works by Hundertwasser until the beginning of June. Appropriately to Copenhagen’s being named the "European Green Capital" of 2014, the Arken Museum has placed particular emphasis on Hundertwasser’s nature-friendly and people-friendly architecture. In this respect, curator Andrea Rygg Karberg came up with a brilliant idea: She asked the architect Stefano Boeri, whose project "Bosco Verticale" (Vertical Forrest) is currently under construction in Milan, whether he was aware of the direct relation between his metropolitan reforestation project, which integrates greenery and trees into the architecture, and Hundertwasser’s "tree tenant" concept. Hundertwasser demonstrated this concept during the Milan Triennial of 1973 by planting about 15 trees in apartments on Via Manzoni. Stefano Boeri agreed that Hundertwasser’s architecture models of 1974 could be seen as precursors of Bosco Verticale. The following is a quote from a short text that Boeri wrote for the exhibition at the Arken Museum:
The "Vertical Forest" that I designed for the area of Porta Nuova will become one of the symbols of a new relationship between humans and trees and will be a tribute to Friedensreich Hundertwasser and his extraordinary rhapsodic battle against the gloom and the rigidity of a determinist reason and devoid of pathos.
KUNST HAUS WIEN lent the works 844 HATS THAT WEAR YOU, 1982, 888 DISGUISED TREE, 1987 and 925 SILENT FLOWERS, 1991 to the Arken Museum for the exhibition.
To take their places at KUNST HAUS WIEN for the duration of the loan, two other works have been hung in the Hundertwasser Museum. The first is 875 CROSSROADS, mixed media, 1987, a work that was part of the Hundertwasser exhibition during the first ten years of KUNST HAUS WIEN’s existence.
The second work, 689 DALSLANDKANAL, watercolour, 1969, can be considered a small sensation: it has never been exhibited before. The painting was bought by a private Canadian collector from Gallery Moos in Toronto in the 1970s and is now being shown in public for the very first time.
Last year, as well, KUNST HAUS WIEN gave assistance to major Hundertwasser exhibitions by lending a number of works to other museums: the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere (followed by the Cobra Museum Amstelveen, Netherlands) for the exhibition Hundertwasser, Japan and the Avant-Garde and the Musée en Herbe in Paris for the exhibition Dans la peau de Hundertwasser. The following works are now back in their usual places at KUNST HAUS WIEN: 208 THE ISLAND, mixed media, 1955 and 223 THE BORDER, mixed media, 1955. Both of these works are owned by the Artothek des Bundes and their loan to KUNST HAUS WIEN has very kindly been extended.
Another work, one of the most important of the permanent Hundertwasser exhibition, has also come home: 460 HOMMAGE AU TACHISME, mixed media, 1961. This work has suffered somewhat from being transported back and forth in recent years and will shortly be stabilised by the art restorer Ralf Wittig. Wittig, who is based in Zwettl, worked with Hundertwasser in the 1990s and is the top expert on Hundertwasser’s works. It was Wittig who applied the gold and silver leaf to the artist’s later works. Not only did Hundertwasser include Wittig’s name on the labels on the back of the works, which contain precise information on the techniques used as well as the dates of the works; Wittig’s name is also to be found in the data contained in the published catalogue of works. The stabilisation of HOMMAGE AU TACHISME, which will be done in April, is expected to take about half a day, during which time the work will be absent from the exhibition.
Also back at KUNST HAUS WIEN are the works 207 WINDOW ONTO THE SEA, mixed media, 1955 and 254 THE SHORT REST OF THE LAWN, mixed media, 1956. The latter, from the collection of Otto Breicha, is a particular favourite among curators of Hundertwasser exhibitions and has been shown at all the important international exhibitions held in recent years.