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School of Art:
The exhibition Akademierundgang 2004 at the Deutsche Bank in Düsseldorf

On the occasion of their 100 year anniversary, the Deutsche Bank is presenting works from their collection by artists with a close relationship to the Düsseldorf Academy of Art of Art.

Tobias Hantmann, Untitled, 2004, Deutsche Bank Collection

During a visit in 1811, Napoleon is said to have been reminded of a “Petit-Paris”. Düsseldorf’s Königsallee belongs to a small group of internationally known streets that justifiably describe themselves as boulevards. Called “Kö” by its friends all over the world, the street is always a focal point when Düsseldorf is brought to mind. The boulevard is characterized by a 580 meter long, 32 meter wide moat. 5,000 square meters of greenery line the edge of the water where, in the middle of the city, swans and ducks leisurely make their rounds. When the sun is shining, Königsallee and its shops and fashion houses turn into one vast open-air café. On top of this, it is one of the best commercial addresses in Germany.

Deutsche Bank has been based in the traditional banking district on the west side of this majestic street for exactly 100 years, and in order to celebrate this together with Königsallee’s 200 year anniversary, the exhibition Akademierundgang 2004 was organized and will also pay tribute to Düsseldorf as an art capital. From Joseph Beuys to Candida Höfer and Cornelius Völker, from Bernd and Hilla Becher to Katharina Sieverding and Johannes Hüppi — the exhibition presents a comprehensive selection of works from Deutsche Bank collection by artists’ of different generations, who share a close relationship with the Düsseldorf Academy of Art. A confident academy rich in tradition took root amongst the uniquely fertile art and artistic landscape of the Rhine Valley. It characterized the “ Düsseldorf School of Painting” in the nineteenth century and, in the decades after 1945, played a more significant role than any other academy in Germany or even Europe.

Famous students such as Blinky Palermo, Jörg Immendorff and Imi Knoebel joined renowned professors like Joseph Beuys and Gerhard Richter. The yearly point of crystallization of the academy’s activities is the traditional winter open studio visit — a high point in Düsseldorf’s art academic year that is savoured by thousands of visitors annually. Following this event, the exhibition in the Deutsche bank in Düsseldorf attempts to trace this tradition and enrich it with new aspects.

Andreas Gursky Seilbahn Dolomiten, 1987, Deutsche Bank Collection

A current view of this is offered by a selection of student works recommended by professors, which were selected and purchased by the Deutsche Bank for this exhibition. The contrasting development of photography and painting outlined in Akademierundgang 2004 also includes works by students of the Bechers such as Thomas Ruff and Andreas Gursky, as well as the various works on paper by Rosemarie Trockel, Rupprecht Geiger, A.R. Penck and Markus Lüpertz and paintings by Gerhard Richter. The works by the youngest participants makes it especially clear that the academy unwaveringly rejects an all too compliant openness toward new media. At the same time, the thematic view into the history of the collection communicates how the collection and its artists have dynamically developed. Here, the direct contact between the enterprise and its cultural surroundings is very much in the foreground. After the first exhibition of academy artists in 1988, Akademierundgang 2004 also depicts the established link between the bank and the local artist and gallery scene.

Akademierundgang 2004 is shown at Deutsche Bank Düsseldorf, Königsallee 47, from 31 July till 27 August 2004