Masterpieces from the Deutsche Bank Collection Opens
December 13, 2004 MOSCOW, RUSSIAN FEDERATION.
Vladimir Putin reacts, while enjoying an exhibition of Deutsche Bank's fine art collection. Photo by SERGEI CHIRIKOV/AFP/Getty Images. Copyright: 2004 AFP.
The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts presents Masterpieces from the Deutsche Bank Collection. The exhibition presents 140 works of 59 famous German artists of various avant-guard schools of the 20th century.
With the exhibition From a German Perspective through 16 January 2005 the Deutsche Bank presents over 140 outstanding masterpieces from their Collection. Emil Nolde, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Gabriele Münter, Max Beckmann, Günther Uecker, Gerhard Richter, Neo Rauch: outstanding paintings, drawings and sculptures by some 50 German-speaking artists from the Deutsche Bank Collection are presented in chronological order in seven exhibition rooms of the Pushkin Museum. Each section reflects a stage in the development of German art in the past century.
The exhibition offers a fascinating insight into the conception and genesis of one of the most renowned international corporate collections. Starting out from the works and progressive visions of classical Modernism, the collection has from the beginning opened its doors to the present. At the end of the seventies, the Deutsche Bank became one of the first concerns to unite the worlds of work and art, focussing its attention principally on works on paper. Thus was created the world's biggest corporate art collection, consisting of over 50,000 works displayed internationally in the bank's premises for the enjoyment of staff members, customers and guests.
The range of artistic perspectives represented in the Pushkin Museum exhibition focus on a period of German history that is marked not only by the catastrophic effects of two world wars but also by radical intellectual transformation. Thus From a German Perspective—Masterpieces from the Deutsche Bank Collection highlights main currents in German art from Expressionism and New Objectivity to post-war art and finally prominent representatives of contemporary positions.
In the commonalities and contrasts that are brought to light here between the generations of artists, a very specific perspective on Germany's national and artistic identity becomes apparent. Many works are being presented to the Russian public for the very first time, affording visitors an immediate experience of the many and various facets of German art of the 20th century. As a cooperation between the Pushkin Museum and Deutsche Bank Art—the Russian and German curators respectively—the exhibition has been conceived as the continuation of a cultural dialogue between national tradition and the future perspectives of a united Europe.
The Moscow exhibition From a German Perspective—Masterpieces from the Deutsche Bank Collection is the most recent example of a German-Russian dialogue that has been continuing over the past quarter century. The Bank's long tradition of sponsoring bilateral cultural exchange owes a great debt to the personal initiative of F. Wilhelm Christians, who as Spokesman of the Board of Managing Directors from 1976 to 1988 not only advocated intensive economic cooperation with the former Soviet Union but also initiated a number of pioneering exhibition projects in the two countries. The most significant German-Russian exhibitions that the Deutsche Bank has sponsored and realised in the past quarter century have included People and Landscapes (1983) in the Central House of Artists in Moscow, featuring the first showing of works by Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter and Joseph Beuys in the Russian capital; the German-Russian touring exhibition Terror and Hope—Artists See Peace and War (1986/87); the Georg Baselitz exhibition of works from the Deutsche Bank Collection in Moscow's Small Manege (1997); and the Berlin/Moscow exhibition in the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin (1995). In 1999 the Amazons of the Avantgarde exhibition in the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin showed works by women artists representing Russian Constructivism. The 2002 Man in the Middle exhibition of works from the Deutsche Bank Collection in the St. Petersburg Hermitage Museum documented the changing image of the human form from Modernism to the present through some one hundred drawings, paintings, sculptures and photographs. And in 2003 the Kasimir Malevich – Suprematism exhibition in the Deutsche Guggenheim was likewise an outstanding public success.