The Springhornhof Foundation & Art Association,
based in Neuenkirchen in the Lüneburg Heath, is responsible for the organisation and management of one of Europe’s leading outdoor art projects. It supports and promotes the notion of artistic engagement with nature, the countryside and village life through a wide-ranging programme of exhibitions, projects and events. The Springhornhof Foundation thus plays a key role in ensuring that impulses for the development of contemporary culture can emerge in places other than the major cities.
The KUNST-LANDSCHAFT outdoor art project
At regular intervals since the project’s inception in 1967, artists from all over the world have been commissioned to create works in the countryside surrounding Neuenkirchen. To date, nearly fourty outdoor sculptural works have been realised within the framework of the KUNST-LANDSCHAFT project, which attracts thousands of visitors to the area each year. The art works are accessible at all times and are to be found in fields, forests, by the waysides, on the edges of lakes and on nearby heaths. The collection continues to grow with the addition of new positions from contemporary art.
Whereas in the 1970s, the use of materials obtained directly from natural sources was a key element of the artists’ approach, today the range of work extends from walk-in architectural sculptures and electronically controlled sound installations to video works and photographic projects. What unites the works of renowned artists such as Timm Ulrichs, Claus Bury, Tony Cragg, Micha Ullman, Christiane Möbus, Jean Clareboudt or Gary Rieveschl is their direct engagement with their place of production. They are conceived as perceptual tools with which the interested observer can obtain new perspectives on nature and the countryside. In particular, the most recent contributions by Dan Peterman, Mark Dion, Jeppe Hein and Elmgreen & Dragset make explicit reference to wide-ranging ecological issues and social contexts.
The integration of art into an open cultural landscape, the progressive transformation of the individual works in and with the countryside surroundings, and the continual growth of the sculptural ensemble as a whole are some of the features which set the KUNST-LANDSCHAFT outdoor art project apart.
Located in the centre of Neuenkirchen, the Springhornhof is the starting point on any journey to explore the art works in the surrounding countryside. The building itself offers an interesting combination of historic structural fabric and modern architecture. The former farmstead has been used for exhibition purposes since the 1960s.
Each year, up to six exhibitions of contemporary are held in the former stables of the Springhornhof. These feature traditional media, such as painting and sculpture, but also experimental and interdisciplinary projects by younger artists. The programme is accompanied by guided tours, artist talks, performances, film screenings and lectures. Particular emphasis is placed on exploring the changing perception of nature and the countryside through art and also in art itself.