this issue contains
>> Interview Douglas Gordon
>> The Press on "25"

>> archive

 
Full of Surprises: Press reviews of 25, the anniversary exhibition of the Deutsche Bank Collection


"Dynamic, animated, and exciting," says the Financial Times, or simply "sensational," according to the BZ - the birthday show of the Deutsche Bank Collection has met with a very positive echo in the press. Many journalists found the exhibition's concept particularly noteworthy. For Gabriela Walde from the Welt, it reflects "the course of an ever-changing art history, with its intersecting and overlapping isms, its upheavals and periods of sudden change and transformation." For Walde, the concept proposes new ways of seeing the collection. "The exhibition was curated by 25 illustrious 'godfathers,' all of whom are long-time friends of the collection, including Max Hollein, director of the Schirn and the Städel in Frankfurt, Sir Simon Rattle, head of the Philharmonic, the collector Ingvild Goetz, Miuccia Prada, and Hilmar Kopper. It was a clever decision to sharpen our view of the collection using perspectives from the 'outside.' What's interesting is the combination of these 'self-portraits.' It is amazing to see how the godfathers have interpreted art history or simply picked out their favorite artists. The collector and ex-gallery dealer Paul Maenz presents himself in classical manner with Mondrian (the most valuable piece in the collection) in search of visual structures, as well as Anselm Kiefer's collage Wege der Weltweisheit: die Hermanns-Schlacht/ Paths of World Wisdom: the Hermann Battle from 1978. The theme here is change. Rattle, himself evidently of an aesthetic vein, selected several drawings by Kandinsky, Klee , and Rebecca Horn: filigree worlds of line so fine that they seem to be on the verge of disappearance. Anyone given to abstract thinking will quickly be reminded of delicate notes here. One is tempted to listen closely to them, that's how quiet they seem." In Berlin's Tagesspiegel, Ulrich Clewing states that the collection remains satisfyingly modest thanks to its concentration on works on paper and abstention from the "representative, which is what usually characterizes corporate collections most." In terms of curator Ariane Grigoteit's concept, he notes: "actually, to force 25 godfathers of such differing temperaments under a single roof is an impossible task, but in this case it really helped the results. (…) the more time one spends in the exhibition, the more attention one pays to what works which godfather chose. Suddenly, questions otherwise unusual for an art show arise: Why was he chosen? And what connections can still be discovered here? Thus, after a while, the disparate conglomerate falls apart into a number of little islands of personality, guiding interpretation into new and unsuspected directions." Andrea Hilgenstock from Rheinpfalz speaks of an exhibition "full of surprises" with "refreshingly individual facets" and a "very personal view of what's most important in the largest corporate collection worldwide."





Zaha Hadid's spectacular exhibition design served many journalists as a point of departure for their articles. The organic forms of the London star architect inspire amazing associations ranging from "whetstone for parakeets" and "architectonic colonoscopy," according to the Financial Times, to an "art worm," as the Berliner Morgenpost called it - while the BZ found it reminiscent of "dinosaur ribs." In the Märkische Allgemeine, Welf Grombacher raved over the futurist ambience: Hadid magically created a "breathtaking exhibition architecture (…): a spatial sculpture than can be walked through and that spills over into the atrium; with its curved white walls and organically flowing forms, it could be a sculpture by Hans (Jean) Arp." For Die Welt, Hadid's art pathways mirror the spirit of the Deutsche Bank Collection. "This more or less flowing path through the art of the collection - beginning with Classic Modernism and extending to the most recent contemporary work - (…) could itself be read as a reflection of the collection, which has grown tremendously over the past several years through the many different personal visions, aesthetic preferences, and individual contacts and which unites many different impulses. (…) There's no stability, everything is in flux - and it's just this mutability that Hadid has modeled in styrofoam. Instead of hanging the works obediently on smooth white walls, Hadid has created a spatial landscape that generates tension and dynamism; the photographs, paintings, and drawings seem to float on the wavelike walls."

The press reports, of course, also go into the background behind Deutsche Bank's commitment to art, the "world champion of art collecting" ( art). In this respect, the Financial Times quotes board member Dr. Tessen von Heydebreck: "Art helps us hear the grass grow faster. Because if not art, then what else can articulate what will move us tomorrow?" In the Berlin local magazine tip, the curator of the show, Ariane Grigoteit, explains that the collection and its concentration on younger art constitutes more than just intellectual capital: "From the very beginning, the bank's decision to show contemporary art at the workplace has motivated and challenged people. We don't regard art as a fig leaf, but as an emotional and intellectual dividend, a proposal to investigate contemporary themes in another way. People find it fascinating that the company collection is one of the bank's best stocks. It was bought economically and has risen markedly in value."