A Brush Against Nature

In form of short texts, the authors of the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors highlight and explore a range of topics that make the world of collecting so versatile and exciting. Here on the blog, we are happy to present these Shorties one by one that complement the guide.

In the text below, Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas take a look at a successful symbiosis: art and nature. No matter if in a tropical or rather moderate climate, this relationship seems to be flourishing, bringing out a new side in one another. Read on to find out more about how art and nature reflect each other and about some truly spectacular sculpture parks.

Art and nature complement each other well. Thus, for this edition of the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors we included additional private sculpture parks. After all, works of art in castle gardens and landscaped parks have a long tradition. Noble houses since the Renaissance commissioned artisans to create mythological figures or complex water fountains for their parks, often by the most famous artists of their time. And one can still find fine examples of commissioned works by castle owners today. The von Reden family regularly invites contemporary artists to their castle garden in the Weser Uplands of Germany to create site-specific sculptures. Marika Wachtmeister developed an equally convincing concept for rotating sculpture exhibitions around the area of her Castle Wanås, in southern Sweden. Exploring these kinds of places is particularly exciting. The visitor ventures, often with map in hand, on a kind of sculptural scavenger hunt. One brushes directly and immediately against nature, an experience often reflected in the works of art themselves. This functions best when artists have engaged with the characteristics of a place over a long period. Such a situation transpires on the grounds of the Basel collector John Schmid, who invites artists to the former convent Schoenthal and offers them time and peace to develop a work of art fitting the place. Or the Brazilian Bernardo Paz, who has created an ideal place of peaceful retreat in his tropical landscape park, Inhotim. He gives artists carte blanche permission to undertake daring aesthetic experiments. In more temperate Europe climes, one finds the sculpture park of Caldic Collectie, in the city of Wassenaar, in the Netherlands. Here Joop van Caldenborgh has forged a convincing harmony of sculptures and landscape on approximately forty acres—a constellation that triggers the joy of discovery for visitors as well as for the collector himself.

The journalist couple Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas have been writing freelance art journalism and art criticism since 1997 for a variety of national and international art magazines and newspapers.

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