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Entering the lobby of 60 Wall Street, plasma screens flank the reception area. The screens, currently showing the bank'scommercial campaign, will in the future feature digital or video art that will be part of a changing program. What is immediately striking is the massive and powerful Gerhard Richter abstract painting, Abstraktes Bild (Faust), 1981 that anchors the lobby waiting area while providing a powerful sense of movement and energy. The painting seems to expand outward while firmly engaging visitors at the same time. The painting was initially located in a conference room in the Bank's Dusseldorf office, but now makes its new home downtown. Downstairs, a small scale Christo print exhibition can be found, titled Forty Years of Public Art . The exhibition traces projects created by this husband and wife duo over four decades, juxtaposing the artist's conceptual drawings next to site photographs of realized projects. The show also references The Gates Project for Central Park, which has been a conceptual dream of the artists since 1979 and has recently been approved for New York City. The Central Park Christo installation debuts in February 2005 under the auspices of the Public Private Alliance for the Gates Project. Deutsche Bank is the founding corporate partner. Proceeds from the sale of the Gates Project products will benefit the city's natural environment and the arts. As part of the Public Private Alliance, Deutsche Bank is working closely with the artists to maximize this unique gift to New York City.


Louise Nevelson: Maquette for SunDisc / Moon Shadow V, 1976-78, Deutsche Bank Collection

To really see all the works in this newly curated venue would probably take at least forty days. While the majority of the works in the collection are on paper, 60 Wall Street houses several paintings. The only sculpture is by Louise Nevelson and can be found on the Executive Floor. Liz Christensen took me on a private- eye tour of several floors to give me a sense of how the collection has been organized and how it functions in the everyday world of the Deutsche Bank employees working in this context of art, culture and commerce. It quickly becomes clear that the major decisions for the placement of the art revolve around the elevator and reception areas. Potentially there are 45 ways to experience the collection.

As Liz told me: "On the 'Forms of Abstraction' floor, (the 46th floor), Blinky Palermo is juxtaposed with James Nares while Keith Haring is seen against a Nina Bovasso. This shows how artists of different generations, nationalities and sensibilities have approached the subject of abstract mark-making on paper."


Liz Christensen, New York

The organizing principal has as much to do with the input and sensibility of the people working on individual floors. Unlike a museum or gallery, where exhibitions are seen under isolated white cube conditions, the bank's collection exists in a highly active business environment. In reality, 47 floors might amount to a1.6 million-square-foot office tower, but in terms of art, that's an incredible amount of space that has to be neatly delineated into functioning segments or chapters. Think of this new configuration as an unending fold-out book where each page reveals another level of visual information.


William Sommer: Three Dancing Figures, ca. 1923,
Deutsche Bank Collection

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