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1983 first day cover honoring the 35th anniversary of the 1948 Univeral Declaration of Human Rights, signed by artist and architect Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser in his birthplace of Vienna in 1987. With a color reproduction of Hundertwasser's painting La Troisieme Peau.
First day cover signed "Friedensreich/Hundertwasser/1987/Vienna". 6½x3½. First day cover honoring the 35th anniversary of the 1948 Univeral Declaration of Human Rights, with color and foil cachet of Hundertwasser's Qatar (1980) at left edge. Postmarked United Nations, Vienna, Austria, Dec. 9, 1983. One 5-schilling color United Nations human rights stamp affixed. ©1983 Gruener Janura AG. GLaurus/Switzerland. FIRST DAY OF ISSUE. Say what you will about Austrian artist and architect FRIEDENSREICH REGENTAG DUNKELBUNT HUNDERTWASSER (1928-2000), he definitely marched to a beat of his own drum. He glorified individualism, natural forms and ecology and had a penchant for giving art lectures in the nude. His art is characterized by contrasting colors, elaborate gingerbread and embellishment and, most importantly, swirls and curves - apparently because he had something against straight lines, which he called "the devil's tools" and "the rotten foundation of our doomed civilization. Hundertwasser's architecture philosophy, which was laid out in his Mouldiness Manifesto (1958), could be seen as a repudiation of the straight, classical designs of fellow Viennese Adolf Loos; in fact, one of his lectures au naturale was entitled Loose from Loos. He designed organic shapes, undulating floors that incorporated parts of the landscape, not to mention waterfalls, soil, plants and live trees with the occasional humus toilet to encourage composting. He also advocated a tenant's "Right of Window" - his right to paint, decorate and/or destroy any part of a building's façade within arm's reach of his own windows. One of his best known designs is Hundertwasserhaus in Vienna (1986), a low-income apartment bloc which he reportedly designed for free to "prevent something ugly from going up in its place." Hundertwasser was born in Vienna with the more conventional name of Friedrich Stowasser. But his childhood was anything but conventional. He was born to a Catholic father, who died when Hundertwasser was three months old, and a Jewish mother. The family survived the Adolf Hitler years by posing as Catholics; Hundertwasser even joined the Hitler Youth. His mother's family wasn't so lucky; 69 of her relatives were deported to and killed in Nazi death camps in 1943. He changed his name in 1949 and broke onto the international scene in 1962 at the Biennale in Venice. Envelope is open and empty. Lightly toned and soiled. Date, but not signature, is lightly smeared but legible. Otherwise in fine condition.

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Born: December 15, 1928
Died: February 19, 2000

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