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Young Masters:
Deutsche Bank celebrates the opening of its collection in Milan

For almost a year, studios and galleries all over Italy were combed through; works of art were viewed, discussed, and finally selected for the Deutsche Bank Collection Italy. The time finally arrived in March: the new collection – a homage to Italy – presented itself to the public.

Opening of the Deutsche Bank Collection Italy:
Friedhelm Hütte, Claudia Schicktanz, Frank Boehm, Ulrich Kissing, Vincenzo de Bustis, Massimo Zanelli, Vittorio Sgarbi, Gianni Testoni ( r.)

The Italian news magazine Panorama also reported on the "huge party at the Deutsche Bank headquarters" where TV and newspaper reporters crowded the spacious foyer of the bank’s new headquarters in Milan together with numerous guests. Hundreds of art lovers made the trip to La Bicocca to attend the official opening of the Deutsche Bank Collection Italy. The former industrial quarter surrounding the Pirelli factory has been experiencing a revival since the ’80s. Along with companies like Deutsche Bank, a university and the opera house Teatro degli Arcimboldi, opened in 2002, provide new impulses in the area, whose tradition reaches back to the 15th century. The name La Bicocca – in English "small fort" – comes from the influential dynasty of the Arcimboldo family. This is where they had their country retreat and hunting grounds. The clan brought forth an important artist, as well: the Mannerist painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593), who produced almost surreal-looking portraits composed of flowers, fruits, and animals.

Patrick Tuttofuoco, X-Flag, 2006,
Commissioned work for Deutsche Bank's Headquarters in Milan, Photo: Roberto Marossi

But you won’t find Old Masters at Deutsche Bank’s brand-new Italian office. Die DB Collection Italy focuses on young art, which was introduced to the staff the day before the opening event. Standing beneath Patrick Tuttofuoco’s suspended light sculpture X-Flag, CEO and Country Head of Deutsche Bank Italy Vincenzo de Bustis welcomed the many colleagues interested in art together with Pier Paolo Cellerino, Head of Personnel. After that, Claudia Schicktanz elucidated the bank’s traditional commitment to supporting the fine arts and Professor Frank Boehm explained the Milan Project. The two curated the new collection together with Friedhelm Hütte, Director of Deutsche Bank Art.

Marcello Maloberti, The Dizziness of Lady Emilia 2 Deutsche Bank Collection

Then, staff had the opportunity to find out more about the art they encounter at the workplace on a daily basis. In a guided tour, young art historians elucidated some of the key pieces, from the commissioned work X-Flag in the foyer to the classics of Italian art photography adorning the board’s offices on the sixth floor: Gabriele Basilico’s cool, elegant black and white studies of Milanese industrial architecture and atmospheric shots of everyday Italian life by Luigi Ghirri.

Gabriele Basilico, Factory , 1983,
Deutsche Bank Collection

A total of five Italian artists were commissioned by Deutsche Bank Italy to create installations for the headquarters, which were designed by Gino Valle. One of these is Luca Vitone, who sets out to redefine concepts such as homeland and cultural identity. In his work Mare Nostrum, Valle investigates cliché images of Italy: stylized sea waves extend along a hallway wall, on top of which a silhouette of Italy is pieced together from framed postcards of popular vacation spots. Italy is the central theme of the art in the Milan headquarters.

Armin Linke, Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas, 1999,
Deutsche Bank Collection

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