THE STRAIGHT LINE LEADS TO THE DOWNFALL OF OUR CIVILISATION
I have a bicycle. Paris is big. I want to say that the lines I draw with my bicycle through this great city are extraordinary.
The lines are just as wonderful as all the other lines I cross traced by all the other people.
I ride around people and obstacles. I am happy at last to be in harmony and in contact with the others.
These lines, for which I need many hours and which form an enormous circle by the time I come back and which make me tired, are more beautiful, more genuine and more justified than those I could draw on paper.
And I dare say that the lines I trace with my feet on the pavement walking to the museum are more important than the lines I will find there hanging on the walls inside.
And it pleases me enormously to see that the line I trace is never straight, never confused, but has a reason to be like this in every tiny part.
Beware of the straight line and the drunken line. But above all beware of the T-squared straight line.
The straight line leads to the downfall of humanity.
La linge droite conduit à la perte de l’humanité.
Text for the catalogue accompanying the first exhibition in Paris at Studio Paul Facchetti, written in December 1953.
Galerie P. Facchetti, Paris, 1954
Direzioni, rassegna d'arte e di poesia d'avanguardia, Mailan, 1959 (italian)
Catalogues of the World Travelling Museum Exhibition 1975-1987: French edition: Paris, Luxembourg, Marseille, Cairo, 1975; Copenhagen, Dakar, 1976; Montreal, Brussels, 1978. pp. 129-131, English edition: Tel Aviv, Reykjavik, 1976; Cape Town, Pretoria, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasilia, Caracas, 1977; Mexico City, Toronto, 1978; Rome, Høvikodden, 1980; Helsinki, 1981; London, 1983. pp. 428-430, German edition: Cologne, 1980; Vienna, Graz, 1981. p. 111. Japanese / English edition: Tokyo, 1977.
Schurian, Walter (ed.): Hundertwasser - Schöne Wege, Gedanken über Kunst und Leben. (Beautiful Paths - Thoughts on Art and Life) Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag (dtv), 1983, pp. 64-65 and ed. 2004 (Munich, Langen Müller Verlag), p. 79 (German)
Das Hundertwasser Haus (The Hundertwasser House). Vienna: Österreichischer Bundesverlag/Compress Verlag, 1985, p. 41. (German)
Hundertwasser Architecture. For a More Human Architecture in Harmony with Nature. Cologne: Taschen, 1997, p. 42 and Edition 2007, p. 30
Hirsch, Andreas (ed.): Hundertwasser - The Art of the Green Path, Exhibition catalogue KunstHausWien. Munich: Prestel Verlag, 2011, p. 62 (excerpt)
Grunenberg, Christoph and Becker, Astrid (ed.): Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Gegen den Strich. Werke 1949-1970, Exhibition catalogue Kunsthalle Bremen. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2012, p. 61 (German)
Hundertwasser. Traumfänger einer schöneren Welt, Exhibition catalogue for Kunstmuseum am Inselbahnhof, Lindau, 2019, p. 110 (German)
Hundertwasser, Exhibition catalogue for nordiska akvarellmuseet, Skärhamn, 2021, p. 49 (Swedish, English)