this issue contains
>> Deutsche Bank Collection Italy in Milan / Lobby Gallery New York
>> Divisionism/ Neoimpressionism at Deutsche Guggenheim

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Gabriele Basilico, Factory in Milan, 1978,
Deutsche Bank Collection

Later, Frank Boehm is able to explain the work to me. But his tour begins on the sixth floor, by the elevated management, so to speak. A carpet muffles the sound of our footsteps; the walls have a stylish mahogany tone. "We hung the most valuable pieces on this floor," Boehm says. The majority of the precious works are photographs. Three wonderful black and white photographs of Milan factories, for instance, which seem almost graphic in their simplicity. Gabriele Basilico took them in 1983; now, the images adorn one of the conference rooms. In the hallway are three incredibly delicate photographs by Luigi Ghirri. "Ghirri is the master," Boehm says. "All the young Italian photographers refer to him." Right beneath Porto Recanati, an atmospheric photograph by Ghirri portraying the nightlife in a typical Italian beach bar, is one of Alberto Garutti’s benches. Kind of like an invitation to sit down and ponder one’s own image of Italy in peace.

Luigi Ghirri, Porto recanati, 1984,
Deutsche Bank Collection

Art for contemplation can be seen in every section of the building. Many works in the new DB Collection Italy have a certain something that calls upon the viewer to spend more time with them: on the first floor, I’m confronted by lithographs by the Swiss art stars Fischli & Weiss that ask the viewer four questions written in completely unpretentious felt-pen letters, such as: "In privato sono un’altra persona?," which means: "Am I a different person in private?" Only a few meters away, bank employees are working in a large open office. Worlds of thought open up. Right next door, Luca Vitone’s wall piece Mare Nostrum (2004/2007) plays with the notion of Italy as a vacation paradise. On a background of stylized blue waves, Vitone has arranged framed postcards that together form the "boot," the outline of his home country. In the middle of the installation, a hallway branches off to additional office spaces, cutting a track into the deep sea blue that leads directly to the reality of everyday working life.

Luca Vitone, Mare Nostrum, 2004/2007,
Deutsche Bank Collection

We proceed to the sober office floor. Around a corner, there’s suddenly a huge cluster of people standing in the hall. I stop, surprised, and then I notice that the people are only two-dimensional. In her commissioned piece, Lara Favaretto papered a digital print of the singers of a choir directly to the wall. "These posters can be found in five places throughout the building," Boehm says. "It’s possible that some employees pass a poster like this every day and like it, but don’t realize that there are four other very similar works in the building."

Lara Favaretto, One of Many, 2006,
Deutsche Bank Collection

We walk down the hallway, past Ina Weber’s newspaper kiosk, and turn the corner. Here, we find a showcase full of records. "Lorenzo Scotto di Luzio interprets Luigi Tenco" can be read on the albums. It’s di Luzio’s homage to the crooner that took his life during the famous hit parade festival of San Remo. The artist sang Tenco’s songs himself and had his performance recorded on vinyl.

Lorenzo Scotto di Luzio, Luigi Tenco, 2002,
Deutsche Bank Collection

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