Gipfeltreffen (1991) by Wolfgang LettlLettl Collection
1991 The painting
Oil painting "Summit Meeting" (60 x 87 cm) by Wolfgang Lettl
Here are some of his thoughts regarding this painting:
A summit is the highest point of a mountain, and as such has room for only one human at a time; the next one must stand further down.
What happens, however, if two people carrying the same load are heading for the summit at the same time from different directions?
Bending one's head under the load so as to see only one's feet rather than the other person, works only for a while.
When the approach becomes very close there will either be a clattering noise or a clash, depending on whether there will be an agreement on a summit talk or insistence on dogma.
This suspenseful moment, a recurring part both of private life and of politics writ large, has been captured in this painting.
I like to paint something in the background of my paintings. That gives spatial depth.
Sometimes even more.
The boy in his boat of life does not know what sport the two gentlemen are exercising with the shouldered balls, why he himself is wearing a sailor suit and what he is supposed to do with the rolling pin.
But you never know what it might be good for.
Skulptur Gipfeltreffen Modell (1995) by Florian LettlLettl Collection
1994/95 The sculpture
Inspired by the painting by his father, Florian Lettl created a sculpture made from styrofoam and paper mâché, finally coated by fiberglass and epoxy resin to make it weatherproof.
From 1995-2001 this sculpture was positioned in the park of the Chamber of Commerce in Augsburg, which from 1993-2013 housed the Lettl-Atrium, Museum for Surreal Art.
Due to a new building on the site, the sculpture had to be dismantled in spring 2001.
Skulptur Gipfeltreffen, Wachsform vor dem Guss (2003) by Florian LettlLettl Collection
2003 The casting
After extensive new building and renovation measures by the Chamber of Commerce in Augsburg, the sculpture was cast in aluminium by the art and metal foundry Karl Casper AG with the help of a generous donation.
The reddish and greenish sprues and the somewhat thinner brown ventilation ducts are clearly visible here. The steel pins are used to keep the inner core and the outer sheathing still to be attached at a distance after the wax has melted.
Skulptur "Gipfeltreffen" auf dem Platz der IHK Schwaben by Florian LettlLettl Collection
For the 10th anniversary of the Lettl Museum, the sculpture was positioned on the newly designed square in front of the Chamber of Commerce in Augsburg.
Dimensions: 330 x 265 x 98 cm
Weight: approx. 600 kg
Summit Meeting in winter (2003) by Florian LettlLettl Collection
Impressions in winter.
Skulptur "Gipfeltreffen" auf dem Platz der IHK Schwaben (2003) by Florian LettlLettl Collection
Sculpture "Summit Meeting" on the newly designed square in front of the Chamber of Commerce in Augsburg.
In the background a "Surreal Bicycle Rack", also a work by Florian Lettl.
"Summit Meeting" on the square in front of the Chamber of Commerce in Augsburg, Stettenstrasse 1 + 3, 86150 Augsburg
Gipfeltreffen IHK Schwaben - Lindau (2004) by Florian LettlLettl Collection
In 2004 a second casting from "Summit Meeting" was set up in front of the branch museum in Lindau.
In the background at the "Powder Hill" you can see the sculpture "The Team".
Both objects were dismantled after the museum closed.
Einladung zur Einweihung der Skulptur "Gipfeltreffen" (2018-08-04) by Stadt ManfredoniaLettl Collection
Greetings from Florian Lettl
Dear Mayor, City Councillor, dear friends and citizens of Manfredonia, friends of art,
today we met in this square to celebrate the inauguration of the sculpture “Summit Meeting”. The sculpture depicts two people, each loaded with a heavy ball that is supposed to be carried upwards. They seem to be two Sisyphi.
The myth of Sisyphus says that Zeus decided that Sisyphus had to move a boulder from the base to the top of a mountain in order to punish the sagacity of the man who dared to challenge the gods. Every time Sisyphus reached the top, the boulder rolled back to the base of the mountain and every time Sisyphus had to start his ascent from the beginning without ever succeeding.
Installation of the sculpture "Summit Meeting" (2018) by Florian LettlLettl Collection
Albert Camus saw in his essay “The Myth of Sisyphus” from 1942 in Sisyphus the personification of the absurdity of human life. Suicide would be a solution, but it would not solve the problem of the meaning of life. But Camus closes his philosophical thoughts with the words: "We have to imagine Sisyphus as happy and free at the moment when the boulder rolls down."
Here in the sculpture, Sisyphus has doubled in size, but the two will never reach the top because they get in each other's way. The absurd thing is that they cannot understand what is preventing them from moving forward.
The shrouded "Summit" on the day of its inauguration (2018) by Florian LettlLettl Collection
We, who can see the situation from a distance, know that because you bow your head under the heavy load, the two cannot see what each other is doing. Your gaze is on your own feet. You only notice that nothing is going on, but you don't know why.
But we, who know a loving God, are not condemned by jealous gods to take on this senseless act. The balls are the symbol of our earthly tasks, they are the hardships of everyday life that we have to master with our ability and our will. It is important to shoulder this for us, for our life, for our tasks. We strive to carry these burdens every day, both in private and public life.
Einweihungsfeier der Skulptur "Gipfeltreffen" (2018) by Bruno MondelliLettl Collection
Foto: Bruno Mondelli
But when, as in this sculpture, the balls become burdens that prevent us from seeing each other and do not allow us to get up and then be happy and free while the weight rolls down, then we have to do our work rethink, correct our doctrines, and overcome our egoisms. We have to shed the burdens to see our neighbour. We have to help each other and not be an obstacle for the other in order to reach the goal together.
"Gipfeltreffen" Morgenstimmung (2018) by Florian LettlLettl Collection
I hope that this sculpture will become a memorial in order to rethink our situation, in order not to overlook our counterparts, in order to overcome the selfishness that, unfortunately, has spread widely both in private life and in public and political life in the world.
I would like to thank the mayor, the city council, my friends Gino, Valeria and Enzo who helped me with the implementation of the project, the press representatives and above all the sponsor Pietro Tomaiuolo, who does not look at "his own feet", but at that Welfare of the civic community.
Evening atmosphere at the sculpture "Summit Meeting" (2018)Lettl Collection
Performance "Gipfeltreffen" (2019) by Matteo QuitadamoLettl Collection
Francesco Mazzone, a professional acrobat and air dancer from Mattinata, dedicates this performance with the Cyr Wheel to his homeland Apulia.
He chose the wonderful place of the Rotonda on the promenade of Manfredonia, on which Florian Lettl's statue "Summit Meeting” is placed.
His acrobatic dance was captured on video by Matteo Quitadamo.
Francesco Mazzone, Performance mit dem Cyr wheel (2019) by Matteo QuitadamoLettl Collection
Viale Miramare, Manfredonia, Italy