The austrian artist Klaus Littmann front of the drawing that inspired it. Portrait of Klaus Littmann with “The UnendingAttraction of Nature” by Max Peintner,pencil drawing, 1970/71, hand coloured by KlausLittmann in 2018, a unique print from series2019Photo credit Emmanuel FradinCourtesy For Forest

Paris will have Christo in 2020, which must be packaged in a manner that is respectful, careful and temporary, the Arc de triomphe in the top of the Champs Elysées. Austria will have before another project XXL in the city: FOR FOREST – The Unending attraction of Nature , artistic intervention temporary designed by the swiss artist Klaus Littmann, which will transform, from 9 September to 27 October 2019, the football stadium Wörthersee, at Klagenfurt, in the largest art installation ever made in public space in Austria.

Born in 1951 , the Austrian Klaus Littmann lives and works in Basel. He studied at the Academy of Arts in Düsseldorf with Joseph Beuys, he became a mediator of contemporary art, in particular in the public space. His project of a mini-forest in a football stadium has already been spotted and applauded by the activists of the “green” cause.

On the eve of the 58th Venice Biennale, whose opening takes place next week, a month before the fair, ArtBasel, which reflects the beatings of the heart venetian brand business, the announcement is a reminder of the commitment of the artists and their refusal of limits.

Klaus Littmann front of the model of his project. Portrait of Klaus Littmann, 2019. Photo credit Emmanuel FradinCourtesy For Forest

This forest-work of art has been inspired by The Unending attraction of Nature , a drawing reminiscent of a dystopia (really, the key word of our times!) directed by the austrian artist and visionary architect Max Peintner. Born December 15, 1937, he was therefore 81 years old, and is the author of the monograph Otto Wagner 1841-1918, The growing city, the beginning of modern architecture editions Residenz Verlag in 1969. Its design visionary has been discovered by Klaus Littmann it has been almost thirty years.

The FOR FOREST of the latter wants “to realize this vision”, “challenge the way we perceive the nature and questioning its future”. The project XXL at the heart of the city has the “objective to operate as a memorial, to remind us that nature, that we often take for granted, might one day exist only in spaces that would be dedicated, as is already the case with the animals in the zoos”.

Evoke a forest in central Europe

About 300 trees, including some weigh up to 6 tons, “will be transplanted with care” on the football field already existing in order to evoke a forest in central Europe. Once transplanted, the forest will resume the course of its existence, change color with the seasons and attract the wild beasts.

The tour of the facility will be “a spectacular dimension through the framework of the Wörthersee Stadium, with a capacity of 30,000 spectators. Every day from 10am to 22h in the evening, visitors will experience a unique view on the trees, day and night, illuminated by natural light or a spotlight”. The encounter with the installation FOR FOREST should “provoke different reactions and emotions and after the time of the day or night because the trees go to form a landscape always changing”. This landscape wants to open “the way a different point of view and apprehension of a completely new vis-à-vis the forests.”

pencil drawings of Max Peintner, “The Unending Attraction of Nature”, 1970-1971, colored by Klaus Littmann in 2018. Image credit Max Peintner, The Unending Attraction of Nature, pencil drawing, 1970/71, hand-coloured by Klaus Littmann in 2018, a unique print from the series

At the end of the artistic intervention in the public space, on 27 October 2019, the forest will be replanted with “care and to the same scale in a site accessible to the public”, near the Wörthersee Stadium, and will remain a “sculpture forest” alive. In parallel, a pavilion will be built so as to document the project over the long term.

The history of the realization of FOR FOREST finds its origin in the exhibitions that Klaus Littmann has been the commissioner and that it has produced, such as Fussball in der Vitrine (with Jehle) in 1982 in Basel, Switzerland ; Kultort Stadion , Basel, 2003 ; Faces of Football , in the region of Galicia in Vigo, Spain, 2008 ; Move for Life , Lyons, 2011 ; Real Fiction Cinema (travelling exhibition), Switzerland 2010-2012 / China 2015-2016, and Garden of the Planets , 2018. Proof of the interest that Klaus Littmann has long been in the links between popular culture and art.