Painting: The Whirlpool of The Waters

It was a class the likes of which Hamburg's Art Academy had never known. For five days, to the constant serpentine sound of Arab music, the guest lecturer, a Viennese painter named Hundertwasser, and his delighted students worked at painting the longest line in the world. It spiraled across the floor, looped up the walls, curved across the ceiling, and would have swirled out the door, but by that time the academy had dismissed Hundertwasser. The line, estimates the artist, only got to be 20 miles long.

A stunt worthy of Gulley Jimson? Hundertwasser, 36, is not fictional and is...

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