Masterpiece upon masterpiece: paintings by classics of contemporary German painting like Georg Baselitz, Sigmar Polke, and Gerhard Richter; prints by Blinky Palermo; Rosemarie Trockel’s knitted picture Who will be in in ’99 (1988), which is hung across the corner as an homage to Kasimir Malevich’s iconic Black Square (1915). The first presentation of the Deutsche Bank Collection in the Städel Museum follows the principle of a Petersburg hanging, in which pictures are hung closely together according to a pre-established system. The show First Choice presents a panorama of German post-war art in which important positions in painting and printmaking mutually reinforce and illuminate one another. The selection offers a taste of the approximately 600 works from the Deutsche Bank Collection’ that will be given over to the Frankfurt museum when its annex is opened in the end of 2010/early 2011. The large group of works constitutes a custom-tailored addition to the Städel Collection’s holdings of art after 1945. Only a small portion of the 60 paintings and sculptures, 161 originals on paper, and 379 prints going to the renowned museum on permanent loan from Deutsche Bank can be shown.
The cooperation with the Städel Museum is another milestone in the history of the Deutsche Bank Collection. Founded in the late 1970s and comprised of over 53,000 works, it is widely considered to be one of the most important corporate collections in the world. Beginning with the concept of "Art at the Workplace," new paths in the mediation of art were forged early on. Contemporary art was understood as cultural capital that could benefit staff, clients, and the public. The idea of showing contemporary works in bank buildings worldwide is based on the idea of bringing art directly to the people. Here, the main idea of Deutsche Bank’s art program "Art Works" is to be understood in a dual sense. The emphasis on work of art itself, but also on art as a catalyst for innovation, as a provider of impulses for discussion, and as an incentive to question customary patterns of thought. While the focus early on was on works from the German-speaking countries, the collection has become increasingly global since the 1990s. Today, in keeping with the principle "Fostering Creativity," it concentrates more on supporting young international artists. In addition, the bank continuously seeks to open up its collection through educational projects and collaborations with important museums.
The selection primarily features classics from the first decades of the collection: Jörg Immendorff, Martin Kippenberger, and Markus Lüpertz are represented with key works; in addition, works by Joseph Beuys, Konrad Klapheck, and Dieter Roth are shown. In particular, the Städel’s collection of works by Anselm Kiefer will be magnificently augmented by Wege der Weltweisheit: Hermanns-Schlacht. Extensive groups of works by Hanne Darboven, Günther Förg, and Imi Knoebel will also benefit the museum’s prints collection. All of the loans were put together with the aim of further continuing the Städel’s collection into the future while making museum-quality works from the first decades of the bank’s collection accessible to the public.
Deutsche Bank Collection at the Städel Museum
October 2 - November 9, 2008