The exhibition "Hundertwasser, Japan and the Avant-garde" at the Belvedere documents the adoption of Japanese Art and Far Eastern Philosophy in the Early Work of Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Even as early as the mid-1950s his art was covered in Japanese art magazines and his breakthrough as an artist was closely linked to his one-year stay in Japan. In the 1950s, the Far East was considered a new sphere of reference for an open-minded approach to art. Paris was the meeting point, where a mutual exchange between Western and Far Eastern avant-garde took place. As many European artists of his time, Hundertwasser interpreted Taoism’s and Zen Buddhism’s lines of thought in a most creative fashion. His early works demonstrate how he reached his own artistic maturity in the late 1950s with his process-oriented manner of painting, experimental pictorial compositions, and painting actionism, thereby moving entirely on the same level as the international avant-garde. Comprising more than 40 works by the artist and numerous works by exponents of the international avant-garde – including Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni, Lucio Fontana, Jean Dubuffet, Tetsumi Kudo, Akira Kito, Yayoi Kusama, etc. – Hundertwasser, Japan and the Avant-garde is the first exhibition to highlight this aspect of the artist’s work in an international context.  March 6th to June 30th, 2013.

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