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    Sale 11798

    Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Auction

    30 June 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 177

    Friedensreich Stowasser Hundertwasser (1928-2000)

    Regentag in Siam (Rainy Day in Siam)

    Price Realised  


    Friedensreich Stowasser Hundertwasser (1928-2000)
    Regentag in Siam (Rainy Day in Siam)
    signed, numbered, inscribed and dated, '772 © Hundertwasser 1976-77 PACIFIC AFTER TAHITI CHENG MAI, VIENNA' (middle right); signed, titled, numbered, inscribed and dated '772 © Hundertwasser REGENTAG IN SIAM Painted on Regentag in the Pacific Ocean between Tahiti and New Zealand Okt-Nov-76, Chien Mai 30 July 77 Vienna November 77' (on a label affixed to the reverse)
    mixed media: two watercolours on paper, primed with chalk and PVA, glued on linen with PVA and wallpaper glue, finished with oil and lacquer on board
    17 x 20 7/8in. (43.3 x 53cm.)
    Executed in 1976-1977

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    ‘I began this picture on the high sea and finished it in Thailand. On board the Regentag we had about thirty green potted plants whose leaves swayed with the rhythm of the waves as if they were dancers. It is the view from the wheel in the pilot’s cabin towards the bow. The round leaves are those of ‘Ligularia tussilaginea’ from the Isle of Elba’ (F. Hundertwasser’s comment about this work, quoted in Hundertwasser 1928-2000, Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 2, Cologne 2002, p. 600).

    Pulsating with dynamism and liveliness, Regentag in Siam (Rainy Day in Siam) (1976-1977) is a luxurious example of Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s unique vibrant style. Hundertwasser began the present work when he was travelling by sea and completed it in Siam, modern Thailand. On a rainy day the artist captured the view of the sea from the wheel in the pilot’s cabin towards the bow as visible on the left corner of the painting, which also displays an array of cosily domestic books and pot plants. Rendered in lively colours and flowing lines, Rainy Day in Siam creates a richly detailed and densely textural surface enlivened by the artist’s iconic spiral design, relocating the stormy landscape to a colourful and peaceful setting. Here, primitive, smiling masks even emerge from these patterns: the spiral, his most vital motif, masterfully amalgamates lifeless objects with the natural world. As Hundertwasser once stated, ‘The spiral, as I see it is a vegetative spiral, with swellings, where the lines become thicker and thinner, like the rings of a tree trunk, but with this difference, that they do not lie within one another, but form a coil’ (F. Hundertwasser, ‘The Spiral’ in Austria Presents Hundertwasser to the Continents, exh. cat., Gruener Janura AG, Glarus/ Switzerland, 1980, p. 491). Rejecting straight lines, the work reconciles humans with nature in a surreal seascape that leaps outside the canvas and becomes animated. The lively spirit of the work is also enhanced by the range of materials the artist employed; by placing them next to each other, Hundertwasser exploits the contrast between their colour and texture he gives the canvas a tangible sense of vitality and freedom. Hundertwasser’s lush, sinuous style is deeply informed by the artistic context of Vienna, by Art Nouveau masterpieces and ultimately by his Viennese predecessors Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, whom he greatly admired.

    Special Notice

    Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.


    Foster Goldstrom Collection, San Francisco.Private Collection, Washington (acquired from the above in 1979).
    Harcourts Gallery, San Francisco (acquired from the above in 1985).
    Private Collection, Germany.
    Anon. sale, Im Kinsky Vienna, 15 April 2008, lot 376.
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.


    H. Brockstedt, Ao Tea Roa. Insel der verlorenen Wünsche, Island of Lost Desire, Ile des Desirs Perdus, Hundertwasser in New Zealand, Hamburg 1979, no. 772 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
    Hundertwasser Is Painting, exh. cat., Cologne, Museum Ludwig, 1979-1981 (illustrated in colour, p. 331)
    F. Hundertwasser, Hundertwasser, Friedensreich, Regentag, Switzerland 1980 (illustrated, p. 331).
    Wochenpresse, no. 3, 21 January 1981, Vienna (illustrated in colour, p. 41).
    A.C. Fürst, Hundertwasser 1928-2000, Werkverzeichnis - Catalogue Raisonné, Cologne 2002, vol. II, no. 772 (illustrated in colour, p. 599).
    Mein Kunst - Malbach (ed.), Phantasiereisen mit Hundertwasser, Munich 2008 (illustrated in colour, p. 11).
    P. Restany and F. Hundertwasser, Hundertwasser, New York 2008, no. 772 (illustrated in colour, p. 223).


    Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Austria Presents Hundertwasser to The Continents, 1978-1981. This exhibition later travelled to Budapest, Mücsarnok hösök tere; New York, Aberbach Fine Art; Hamburg, Galerie Brockstedt; Tokyo, Tokyo Gallery; Oslo, Hammerlunds Kunsthandel and Vienna, Galerie Würthle.

    Post Lot Text

    The work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Hundertwasser Archives, Vienna.