THE STRAIGHT LINE LEADS TO THE DOWNFALL OF OUR CIVILISATION

Friedensreich Hundertwasser

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.

Published in:

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)