this issue contains
>> Welcome to "25"
>> Hall of Fame englisch
>> Interview with Ariane Grigoteit
>> Visionary Spaces: Zaha Hadid

>> archive

25 – The Anniversary Exhibition of the Deutsche Bank Collection

The world’s largest corporate art collection is celebrating its 25th year of existence with a spectacular anniversary show at the Deutsche Guggenheim. “25” presents outstanding works ranging from Classical Modernism to the very latest approaches in contemporary art, chosen by 25 “godparents”. These prominent friends and companions of the Collection from the worlds of business and the arts have chosen their personal favorites for this anniversary exhibition. In addition, the Curator’s Choice section takes a look at the future of the Deutsche Bank Collection. The visionary design of the exhibition, by London’s star architect Zaha Hadid, turns the exhibition space on Unter den Linden into a sort of course of art. Achim Drucks introduces the birthday show “25”.

Max Ernst, Le Capricorne, (1948-64)
in the courtyard of the Deutschen Bank, Düsseldorf

An archaic pair of monarchs holds court in front of the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin. Like regents from another world, the mythical figures are enthroned in the middle of Berlin’s loveliest boulevard, in the center of the city. Le Capricorne is the name of this impressive bronze sculpture by the Surrealist Max Ernst, which will serve as a welcoming committee to visitors of the anniversary show 25 until June 19, 2005. The piece, chosen for this exhibition by art advisor Dr. Christoph Graf Douglas, shows the way to the exhibition, which unfolds inside the Deutsche Guggenheim. For 25, the prominent architect Zaha Hadid has radically altered the exhibition hall and surrounding rooms of the bank building, turning them into a tunneled, spheric landscape that is organic and technical at the same time.

Exihibition design by Zaha Hadid for "25"
at Deutsche Guggenheim, Sketch, (c) Zaha Hadid Ltd.

The visionary interior design of the exhibition forms the unusual framework for the nearly 300 masterpieces from the Deutsche Bank Collection. To mark its 25th year, 25 companions and friends were invited to choose exceptional works from the Collection – their favorite pieces, which embody for them the Bank’s spirit of commitment to art, and which have personal meaning for them. These “godparents” – museum directors, curators, gallery owners, longtime advisors, and members of the Bank’s board of directors – portray their individual views of the corporate collection (a list of the godparents can be found here). The resulting selection is appropriately multi-faceted, ranging from examples of Neue Sachlichkeit such as George Grosz’ biting watercolor Menschen im Kaffeehaus (1918) to Bill Viola’s allegorical, high-tech video installation Going Forth By Day (2002).

Bill Viola, Going Forth By Day (Detail), The Voyage, 2002,
(c) Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin/ Bill Viola
Today, the world’s largest corporate art collection encompasses more than 50,000 works. While the emphasis is on works on paper, painting, sculpture and video installation are also represented, and round out the immense inventory that represents a century of art – from Classical Modernism to recent works. So what’s the most appropriate way to celebrate the Collection’s anniversary? In order to review its history, document its current status and visualize the future direction of Deutsche Bank’s art program, Dr. Ariane Grigoteit, director of the Collection and curator of this exhibition, has struck a new path: “We don’t want to make it too easy for the visitor, and we don’t want to be too pleasing. The Deutsche Bank Collection is a young collection that has always been oriented towards the future. We want to allow people to notice and experience that with all their senses.” With that in mind, Grigoteit developed a concept that incorporates the collection’s art historical context, but does not simply take a linear path through 100 years of art. “The history of 20th century art and the corporate collection can be told in an endless variety of ways,” says the curator. “It’s absolutely deliberate that the visitor is lead through a labyrinth of ideas, visual impressions and historical references. The exhibition encourages visitors to come up with their own impressions, and head off the beaten path.”

Yutaka Sone: Birthday Party,1997
Deutsche Bank Collection, (c) Yutaka Sone, Gallery SIDE 2, Tokyo

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