Hall of Fame:
The Most Treasured Works in the
Anniversary Exhibition "25"
Choosing no more than
ten pieces from among 50,000 means, above all, limiting, concentrating and
re-choosing, until one has found one’s absolute favorites. Twenty-five
godparents have done just that for the anniversary exhibition ”25”,
subjecting the Deutsche Bank to an ”external” point of view. With so many
artworks to choose from, it’s astonishing that several godparents chose
the same pieces – and it’s reason enough to present these objects of
desire in the Hall of Fame.
Please click on the picture to watch the slideshow I.
Where does one start, which piece does one put aside, and above all, which
criteria should one use for the favorites that will assert one’s own
personal perspective against those of the others? These were some of the
questions confronting the prominent godparents who were meant to choose
their favorite works from the world’s largest corporate art collection.
More than 300 pictures and objects now displayed in the
Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin give a varied overview of 20th century art.
And 20 pieces seemed to hold a very special fascination for the
participating museum directors, curators, gallery owners, art advisors and
bankers: as the stars of the
Collection, they ended up on the wish lists of several godparents. But
what makes one artwork more attractive than another? Is it even possible
to weigh Franz Marc
August Macke; can one decide in favor of
Kurt Schwitters and against
Max Beckmann, or play off
Sigmar Polke against
Each of the works in the exhibition, which reaches from early 20th century
artists such as
Emil Nolde or Ernst
Barlach through the present day - as represented by
Bill Viola or
Kara Walker - tells a piece of art history. But the godparents were not
given the task of judging the works according to their artistic merit or
importance in art history.
Copyrights for the works:
Yvon Lambert, Paris | © Baselitz | © Beckmann, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2005 |
© Beuys, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2005 | © Ernst, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2005 |
© Grosz, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2005 | © Kandinsky, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn,
2005 | © Kiefer, Barjac | © Kirchner, Ingeborg & Dr. Wolfgang
Henze-Ketterer, Wichtrach/Bern | © Klapheck, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2005 |
More important was to what degree the works chosen
determined the history and genesis of the Collection, from the point of
view of those who have accompanied it as friends and companions. Although
most of the godparents were directly involved in shaping the Collection,
whether as external advisors or discussion partners, they were able to
retain their distanced view. Despite their different professions and
connections to art in the Bank, the favorites that were repeatedly named
suggest a surprising consensus in their choices.
Please click on the picture to watch the slideshow II.
It is immediately noticeable that the godparents have concentrated on German
art in the works that were chosen more than once. In addition, there is a
clear preference for figurative tendencies, an obvious trend towards
Classical Modernism. By choosing watercolors by Emil Nolde,
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and
Wassily Kandinsky, works on paper by
Ernst Wilhelm Nay and
Georg Baselitz, the godparents display a clear commitment to those
protagonists who provided decisive impulses for the artistic language of
the 20th century. Of course, contemporary and international points of
departure are represented with artists such as
Neo Rauch or
Francis Alys. But these are far more strongly represented in the
exhibition as a whole, since the Collection’s emphasis in the past decade
has shifted from German art to global developments in the young art scene.
The Hall of Fame paints its own individual picture. Here, works are honored
that remained misunderstood to most people during the age they were
created, and whose innovative and visionary force only comes into its own
with the advantage of time. What apparently pushed to the fore back then
has lost none of its potency in the current day – that too is the essence
of the Collection, which becomes tangible in the godparents’ Hall of Fame.
©Macke, artist and legal heirs | © Marc, artist and legal heirs | © Elisabeth
Nay-Scheibler, Köln | © Nolde, Nolde-Stiftung Seebüll | © Rauch, VG
Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2005 | © Richter | © Schiele, artist and legal heirs | ©
Schwitters, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2005