Three gentlemen in a relaxed pose, facing each other. They seem to be in a meeting. Surrounded by hustle and bustle. Behind them stretched out lies an area with concentrically arranged ropes at the Karlswiese in front of the Orangerie of the Auepark in Kassel. What may look like a Sunday outing in the park with too much skipping rope was in fact the preparatory and planning work for Christos (born 1935) and Jeanne-Claude's (1935-2009) monumental project "5,600 Cubicmeter Package". An astonishing air package produced for documenta 4 (1968) and projected beyond the green lungs of Kassel as a gigantic pillar made of synthetic material. The people in the photograph can still be identified today which are Christo (center) and his friend and engineer Mitko Zagoroff (right, 1935-2010). The photograph was taken in 1968 by the young Klaus Baum (born 1942), whose path in life would cross over the decades several times with the World Art Exhibition.


In November 2019, he decided to donate his extensive collection of documents, objects and photographs from the Kassel World Exhibition to the documenta archiv, including a unique collection of original photographs (prints, negatives and transparencies) of documenta 4, 5, 8 and 9. He often portrayed artists and the creation of their works during the installation for the exhibition. The choice of motifs is of timeless brilliance and the individual images are precisely composed. His portraits captivate through their closeness to the people depicted, conveying familiar and at the same time unconventional situations, which are typical for documenta.


At the time when the photograph of the three gentlemen was taken at the Karlswiese, Baum was in his early twenties, had completed his secondary education and was commissioned by Christo to take photographs documenting the events surrounding the creation of the work. He speaks of this phase in his life as a time of uncertainty. Where do you go after graduating from high school? One thing was clear to him at the time: he would follow the path of photography and allow himself to be drawn further and further into the thicket of the visual arts.


In our next docArt, we would like to present Baum's work during documenta 9 and his way there, in order to provide further insights into this new addition to the holdings of the documenta archiv. The documenta archiv is tremendously grateful to Dr. Klaus Baum and his generous donation!


Karoline Achilles and Michael Gärtner