"Magdeburg in Pictures" Magdeburg by bwk_michael
Magdeburg Travel Guide: 112 reviews and 374 photos
Magdeburg, the capital city of the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, lies on the Elbe river and was one of the most important medieval cities of Europe. Emperor Otto I, the first Holy Roman Emperor lived during most of his reign in the town and was buried in the cathedral after his death. One currency of Magdeburg is the local Urstromtaler (as well as the euro) The Magdeburg hemispheres were a device created in 1654 by Otto von Guericke: it consisted in two hollow shells with rings for attaching ropes, put together with grease; the air was evacuted from within through a pump that he had invented some years before. Sixteen horses failed to pull the hemispheres apart
Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser (born Friedrich Stowasser December 15, 1928 – February 19, 2000) was an Austrian painter and sculptor. By the end of the 20th century, he was arguably the best-known contemporary Austrian artist, though he was always controversial.
Hundertwasser's original, unruly, sometimes shocking artistic vision expressed itself in pictorial art, environmentalism, philosophy, and design of facades, postage stamps, flags, and clothing (among other areas). The common themes in his work are a rejection of the straight line, bright colours, organic forms, a reconciliation of humans with nature, and a strong individualism. He remains sui generis, although his architectural work is comparable to Antoni Gaudí in its biomorphic forms and use of tile. He was inspired by the works of Egon Schiele from an early date, and his style was often compared to that of Gustav Klimt. He was fascinated with spirals, and called straight lines "the devil's tools". He called his theory of art "transautomatism", based on Surrealist automatism, but focusing on the experience of the viewer, rather than the artist.
His adopted surname is based on the translation of Sto (the Czech word for "hundred") into German. The name Friedensreich has a double meaning as "Peaceland" or "Peacerich" (in the sense of 'peaceful'). The other names he chose for himself, Regentag and Dunkelbunt, translate to "Rainy day" and "Darkly multicoloured". His name Friedensreich Hundertwasser means, "Peace-Kingdom Hundred-Water". Although Hundertwasser first achieved notoriety for his boldly-coloured paintings, he is more widely renowned today for his revolutionary architectural designs, which incorporate natural features of the landscape, and use of irregular forms in his building design. Hundertwasserhaus, a low-income apartment block in Vienna, features undulating floors ("an uneven floor is a melody to the feet"), a roof covered with earth and grass, and large trees growing from inside the rooms, with limbs extending from windows. He took no payment for the design of Hundertwasserhaus, declaring that it was worth it, to "prevent something ugly from going up in its place".
He felt that standard architecture could not be called art, and declared that the design of any building should be influenced by the aesthetics of its eventual tenants. Hundertwasser was also known for his performance art, in which he would, for instance, appear in public in the nude promoting an ecologically friendly flush-less toilet.
On July 4, 1958 he read his celebrated and controversial Verschimmelungs-Manifest, the so-called Mould Manifesto against rationalism in architecture, in the abbey of Seckau. "A person in a rented apartment must be able to lean out of his window and scrape off the masonry within arm's reach. And he must be allowed to take a long brush and paint everything outside within arm's reach. So that it will be visible from afar to everyone in the street that someone lives there who is different from the imprisoned, enslaved, standardised man who lives next door."
In 1972 he published the manifesto Your window right — your tree duty: planting trees in an urban environments was to become obligatory: "If man walks in nature's midst, then he is nature's guest and must learn to behave as a well-brought-up guest."
His work has been used for flags, stamps, coins, posters, schools, churches, a public toilet in Kawakawa in his adopted home of New Zealand, and apartment buildings. His most famous flag is the Koru Flag; he has also designed stamps for the Cape Verde islands and for the United Nations post administration in Geneva on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In 1999 he started his last project named Die Grüne Zitadelle von Magdeburg. Although he never finished this work completely, the building was put up a few years later in Magdeburg, a town in central Germany, and finally opened on October 3, 2005
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