Just before Christmas I ran a Hundertwasser-themed workshop as a fundraiser for 101 Social Club. (If you are not familiar with Austrian artist, architect, environmentalist and cranky old hippy Friedensreich Hundertwasser, I have written about him quite a few times- you can find the entries here) People had food and drink, learnt about Hundertwasser’s work and philosophies, and did three different casual art activities- collaborative line making, resist painting, and creating architectural models of Hundertwasser-style buildings out of recycled materials. All while listening to the fine selection of Can, Neu, Fennesz, Cluster, Faust and other artists from the playlist below (I had it on shuffle on the night)
While unpacking my art stuff, I found some long-lost screen-printed patches, and some packets of kraft paper sticker blanks I had no memory of buying. So I rejigged some old artwork to create some stickers.
The stickers are £1 for a pack of three, and the patches £1.50 each. Prices include UK postage. Find them here.
About five years ago I did two risograph prints, one based on Diana Wynne Jones’ Fire and Hemlock, and the other on Euripides’ Bacchae. Each print was an edition of 50, and I sold all of them a long a time ago (except for a couple of copies I kept for myself). Now I have a giclée printer though, I have resurrected them as a new edition. This time they’re printed on Canson Infinity rag museum paper, which is an acid free and archival watercolour paper for fine art digital printing.
For the curious, the Greek text reads “I caught this young lion myself, without a trap” and comes from the scene where Agave presents Dionysus with her own son’s severed head.
Available from the shop for £10 each. The price includes UK postage, international is extra.
When I was in Liechtenstein, I went to the Modern Art museum there. I was really impressed with the quality of the museum, especially in such a small country. They had a special exhibition about Swiss artist André Thomkins (whose estate had donated his works to the museum). I hadn’t come across him before, but I really enjoyed what I saw (and his large array of German puns), especially the short film where he was talking and demonstrating how he made marbled paintings by floating lacquer on top of water, something he started experimenting with after washing a brush he’d been painting furniture with.
Watching a man dropping oil paint onto a bathfull of water accompanied by space noises is strangely relaxing- you can see a video here, the website wouldn’t let me embed it. He seemed to turn his hands to anything that took his fancy, from palindrome surrealist poems to homemade instruments to intricate ink drawings. I imagine he was having lots of fun. I really enjoyed the bad German puns in the written work, but obviously they won’t do anything for you if you don’t speak the language.
The gallery has this video where they show you some of the exhibition. Strangely they don’t show that much of the artwork though. The video’s in German too. You do see some of the “Bureaucratic Drawings” made of rubber bands though.
(All images from Hauser & Wirth)
The text says “ἔμαρψα τόνδ᾽ ἄνευ βρόχων λέοντος ἀγροτέρου νέον ἶνιν ὡς ὁρᾶν πάρα.” which means “I caught this young lion by myself, without a trap”. Pentheus’ mother, having run off into the woods with Dionysus to be a maenad, kills her son in a frenzy because she thinks he’s a lion, and then parades his head around the stage boasting about the lion she’s killed. That old plot cliché.
Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. £10 + postage in the shop.
If you would like the same design as a canvas print or a mug they are available here.
Every so often I like to write on here about things I like, and why I like them. I’ve (finally) been finishing my zine about Vienna, and there’s a section about Hundertwasser in there, but I didn’t really have enough space to say everything that I wanted to say, and in a b&w zine obviously you totally miss out on the colours, which are a major part of his work, so here is a longer thing about him and his work. I’ve visited the Kunsthaus/Hundertwasserhaus in Vienna quite a few times, and I wrote about one of my visits here. I first came across his work in 2001, when I was 16/17, and bought a £3 book from a discount shop because it looked interesting from a quick flick through. I’m glad I did! All the pictures in this entry are either taken by me, or come from hundertwasser.at. I don’t feel like I’ve really caught my exact favourites here, but collecting images from lots of different sources and making sure they were all credited properly would have taken a long, long time. Here’s an overview of some things.