For almost four decades, Deutsche Bank’s commitment to contemporary art has been an essential aspect of our corporate culture. The Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, as part of the Deutsche Bank Art, Culture & Sports, stood for everything that characterizes this commitment: openness, internationality, and the pioneering spirit. Founded in 1997 as the Deutsche Guggenheim, Deutsche Bank ran the gallery space for 15 years together with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The exhibition hall in Deutsche Bank’s Berlin Head Office was established as a platform for international contemporary art; starting in April 2013, ending in April 2018 Deutsche Bank carried on with new priorities.
The KunstHalle defined itself as a place of discovery – an institution that is as alive and in flux as the German capital itself. One focus of the three to four annual high-caliber exhibitions was on new artistic terrain and the phenomena of a globalized society. One highlight of the program was the presentation of Deutsche Bank’s “Artist of the Year,” who was honored each year with a major solo exhibition. At the same time, the KunstHalle provided a forum for young talents on Berlin’s international art scene, presenting them for the first time to a broad public.
In Focus: The Deutsche Bank Collection
With its emphasis on works on paper and photography, the collection is dedicated to contemporary work. Art’s “blueprint” character has provided a key thematic impulse for the development of the Deutsche Bank Collection.
Beginning with Modernist and post-war German art, and with an eye to the fostering of young talent and current positions, path-breaking works have been collected since the late 1970s. Along with expanding significant bodies of work, for instance by Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, and Sigmar Polke, newcomers have always been taken into consideration as well. Photographers such as Thomas Ruff and Andreas Gursky were already part of the collection at the beginning of their careers, as was the painter Neo Rauch. At the same time, the collection is constantly growing younger and more international. Whether it’s Pop and Minimal Art, Japanese photography, or Young British Artists: all the important movements after 1945 are represented here. Today, the focus of the collection is increasingly on the new art centers in Africa, China, India, and South America, which are taking on increased importance in a globalized culture. This is also reflected in the art presentation in Deutsche Bank’s Frankfurt Towers. Here, approximately 100 international artists from over 40 countries are on view, providing evidence of a transformed art scene. A critical examination of the effects of globalization and migration, outdated gender roles, and the legacy of modernism – these are the artistic questions and social issues that occupied these contemporary artists and the KunstHalle program. Read more on the Deutsche Bank Collection here.
International Talents: “Artist of the Year”
The bank pays tribute to young artists on the recommendation of the Deutsche Bank Global Art Advisory Council, comprised of renowned curators Okwui Enwezor, Hou Hanru, Udo Kittelmann, and Victoria Noorthoorn.
An essential aspect in the selection is that the artist addresses social issues in an individual way and has already created an inimitable and exceptional body of work in which works on paper or photography play a key role. In contrast with many other awards, the “Artist of the Year” is not a monetary prize, but a constant of Deutsche Bank’s art program that supports new positions and promotes the acquisition of works for the corporate collection. The prize culminates in the “Artist of the Year” solo exhibition at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, which subsequently travels on to other international venues. The artist is also invited to design a special edition for the KunstHalle.
New Impulses: Guest Curators and Cooperative Projects
To show trends and issues currently preoccupying contemporary artists, the KunstHalle invites international guest curators and artists to realize innovative projects in Berlin.
Each year, an internationally renowned curator puts on a “carte blanche” exhibition as well as an exhibition from the Deutsche Bank Collection. At the same time, the KunstHalle cooperates with a worldwide network of institutions.
Berlin in View: Forum for the City’s Vital Scene
Berlin is a laboratory for the art world. Hardly any other city attracts as many artists and young talent with its creative and unconventional atmosphere.
The KunstHalle sees itself as a part of this vital scene, offering new, path-breaking positions a venue for their first major exhibitions. Parallel to this and on a regular basis, the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle presents a show in close partnership with a Berlin art institution.