Karl-Heinz Klopf


Location: Health Resort Raxblick, Prein an der Rax / Austria
Completion: 2010


With the sculpture Stalk on the forecourt of the therapeutic centre in Prein an der Rax, Karl Heinz Klopf alludes to the relationship between architecture and the landscape. That the building is not integrated in the natural setting but appears to have displaced it led the artist to conceive of his sculpture as a symbolical gesture of reclaiming the natural setting in a context of the architectural ambience. The projecting, slightly curved, stalk-like object is reminiscent in its green colouring of the bright shoot-like parts of natural growths such as grasses or even trees. It does not only add (metaphorical) green to the forecourt of the building in its remote natural setting, in conjunction with the benches it also lends it a centre for gravitating towards and a meeting place for guests at and visitors to the spa hotel. With its abstracted shape and large scale in relation to real grasses, Stalk forms an artificial construct that neither decorates the forecourt nor glorifies nature; instead it alludes to cultivation and regulation as ubiquitous artificial interventions in nature and the landscape. The alleys and paths that bring us to this place are just as much a sign of the way that countryside conservationists intervene in the stocks of forest and wildlife for commercial reasons. So, reclaiming nature here also involves promoting sensitivity for its true state. (Rainer Fuchs)

(Stalk, 2010; painted steel, LED lights, hight: 1050 cm; Prein an der Rax, Austria)