In tennis, waiting times are in the nature of things. Players are waiting for their match, stewards waiting for the change of sides and fans at the entrance to the facility. The latter is often quite annoying and tempts you to take out your cell phone and look for a bit of distraction.
At the Berlin Lawn Tennis Tournament there are more demanding alternatives in this regard. Even the ticket booth on Gottfried-von-Cramm-Weg fascinates with high-quality art instead of a boring container look. The digital artist Johann Büsen has created a special painting here – entirely on the computer. This makes queuing almost fun.
These days, sport and art go hand in hand on the LTTC Rot-Weiss facility. Klaus-Dieter Brennecke, a Berlin gallery owner and tennis fan, is responsible for this. He has been a member of the club for six years and when the organizers of the new tournament approached him to discuss an art project, he was immediately enthusiastic.
“That creates completely new perspectives,” says Brennecke. People who otherwise have little contact with art can see works by Kim Dreyer, Franziska Maderthaner, Lars Teichmann, Büsen – and of course Elvira Bach on the Art Walk on the site. The Berlin artist is perhaps the biggest name at this tournament outside of the world-class players. Several of her paintings and a sculpture are on display just behind the entrance.
There are also exhibits of different styles, epochs and influences in a kind of open-air gallery – all of this is included in the ticket price. Bach’s works, for example, adorn the massive exterior architecture of the Steffi Graf Stadium. From court number one, the individual works are particularly accessible.
The artists did not work live on or on the objects, as Brennecke explains: “Almost everything is printed, which was not so easy given the size of the images and, above all, the data.” Brennecke was initially skeptical as to whether the partly enlarged copies would meet his qualitative requirements. Now he’s satisfied: “I wouldn’t have thought of it before and I would probably try it again in the future,” he says.
Particularly impressive is a 32 meter long and almost three meter high panorama picture by Johann Büsen on tarpaulins directly behind the sponsor park in the direction of Hundekehlesee, in which the individual motifs merge into one another. Many details can be seen from the clubhouse. Lars Teichmann, who is currently exhibiting at Brenneckes Fine Art, is represented with individual works of art right behind a grandstand in the Center Court.
The works are not always noticed, commerce sometimes comes before art when it comes to placing a food truck. “Sometimes that can’t be changed,” says Markus Zoecke from the LTTC Rot-Weiss, pointing out that “nevertheless, enough exhibits were clearly visible”.
Brennecke, on the other hand, is clear that he is breaking new ground with his campaign and does not always receive undivided approval for his ideas. But: “That’s how it is in art. And what would it be if it didn’t polarize?” Brennecke sees it sportily. And of course tennis pictures are part of a tennis tournament. On the side wall of the cloakroom building right behind the entrance is a picture by the Austrian artist Franziska Maderthaner, in which Steffi Graf and club icon Gottfried von Cramm are hitting balls between the radio and television towers.
Von Cramm can also be found elsewhere, Kim Dreyer has immortalized him in several pictures. Brennecke is enthusiastic about the results because he knows that art is free and he didn’t want to dictate to anyone what they should paint. Dreyer needed three or four months for her Cramm picture at the clubhouse, the original is also significantly smaller here. She has managed to be just as eye-catching as Teichmann with his giant tennis racket above the entrance to the “Le Baron” restaurant.
And the visitors? “I’m happy about everyone who stops and looks at it. And maybe we’ll leave it all hanging after the tournament,” says Brennecke. Even if there are no more waiting times that have to be bridged by the club members. But after all, you can take it yourself to look at art first and then play tennis before or after.