11 May – 18 July 2021
From Christian Friedrich Gille to Christo

An art and installation project by Klaus Littmann

Highlights | Publication

The concern for our environment is the big issue of our generation – and the ones that follow – even if the pandemic is currently preoccupying the entire world. The rapid advance of the destruction of nature can no longer be ignored as its dramatic effects are more and more visible and tangible.

The exhibition Tree Connections explores the way in which artists from the 19th century to the present day have addressed the subject of nature, using a myriad of approaches and stylistic means. There are political works on display here, with an urgent call to change our way of thinking, but also works which simply capture the beauty of nature. First and foremost, the Kulturstiftung Basel H. Geiger is an art institution. The exhibitions presented by the foundation are intended to reach a wide audience, but also to be thought provoking without becoming ideological. The founder Sibylle Geiger’s intention was simple: she wanted to make art and culture accessible to as many people as possible.

Installation view Tree Connections, 2021, Kulturstiftung Basel H. Geiger | KBH.G

Klaus Littmann, too, adheres to this philosophy with his art interventions in public spaces. A most recent example is the Arena for a Tree, which stands in connection with this exhibition here. In this respect, Sibylle Geiger and Klaus Littmann share a same understanding of art. They knew and appreciated each other and shared many constructive exchanges, so the two-part project is undoubtedly in the spirit of the benefactress, who sadly passed away last summer.

Tree Connections is indeed an exceptional exhibition in a number of ways with regard to its topical theme as well as its concept. Although great artists are being shown here, their works originate largely from private Swiss collections, many of them from this region. In connection with the devastation of our environment, art transports across continents have also come under scrutiny, which is something that could be avoided here. Tree Connections not only showcases great art, but also reveals unknown and previously unseen treasures from the region and presenting them to a broader public for the very first time.  

Franz Burkhardt, 2 Kubik 204, 2020-2021, Mixed media, plywood, styrodur, styrofoam, paint, 120x200x210 cm

A selection of artists included in the exhibition are: Calame, Gille, Sherer, Arp, Oppenheim, Tinguely, Beuys, Christo, Rollins and K.O.S, Uecker, Kounellis, Balkenhol, Cragg, Nash, Kintera, Kawamata, Sailstorfer and Schlesinger – to name a few. Information and inputs about the works accompany the extensive documentaiton in the catalogue

As part of the exhibition, the installation Arena for a Tree will be presented on the Münsterplatz in Basel. The arena will be open daily to the public from April 28 to May 24 from 11 to 8 pm. The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive catalog published by Hatje Cantz as well as a diverse public program.