Deutsche Bank Donates Works from Commissioning Program

Deutsche Bank Donates Works By leading Contemporary Artists From The Deutsche Guggenheim Commissioning Program To The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation


Includes Significant Works by John Baldessari, Hanne Darboven, William Kentridge,
Jeff Wall, and Phoebe Washburn


(NEW YORK, NY – January 29, 2008) The Board of Trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation voted on December 12, 2007, to accept a donation of 50 percent interest in sixty artworks for the permanent collection, created by five leading contemporary artists, including John Baldessari, Hanne Darboven, William Kentridge, Jeff Wall, and Phoebe Washburn. The works were created over the past five years through the commissioning program for the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, Germany. Established in 1997, the program, an innovative partnership between the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Deutsche Bank, commissions major new works by leading artists. In the past, these artists have included Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter, James Rosenquist, Andreas Slominski, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Bill Viola, Lawrence Weiner, and Rachel Whiteread. These commissions often represent critical moments in the careers of the selected artists and result in major works that then become part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Deutsche Bank AG Collections.


These important additions to our collection were announced today by Thomas Krens, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. "The Guggenheim Foundation has been exceedingly fortunate in forging a relationship with Deutsche Bank, known for its own remarkable art collection worldwide. Marking our 10th anniversary at the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin with these groups of works now included in our collection, we look forward to continuing this important commissioning program. We are proud to have supported these artists at pivotal moments in their careers and now to have them in our permanent collection. And we are delighted that many of the exhibitions which feature their works have had an opportunity to travel to New York and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao so that the works have a large, international audience."


The commissions include John Baldessari’s Somewhere Between Almost Right and Not Quite (With Orange), 2004, a cycle of thirteen, large-scale photographic works created from appropriated B-movie film stills, which are partly covered by paint that conceals crucial visual data in the borrowed filmic narratives. Baldessari’s compelling juxtapositions of imagery convey harmony and discord, security and disruption, and the voids between these extremes.


William Kentridge’s multimedia installation Black Box / Chambre Noir, 2005, consists of animated film, kinetic objects, drawings and a mechanical theater in miniature. Kentridge explores constructions of history and meaning, while examining the processes of grief, guilt, culpability, and expiation, and the shifting vantage points of political engagement and responsibility. This complex and richly layered work reflects on the history of the German colonial presence in Africa, particularly the German massacre of the Hereros in Southwest Africa (now Namibia) in 1904.


Hanne Darboven’s installation Hommage à Picasso, 1995-2006, documents the last decade of the twentieth century and pays tribute to one its greatest artists. It engages her signature method of recording time through the linear compositions of digits The various components of the installation—270 framed panels with 36 drawings in each, a framed print of Picasso’s Seated Figure in Turkish Costume, 1955, a series of purchased and commissioned sculptures ranging from a bronze bust of Picasso to birch-twig donkeys made by Polish craftsmen, and an orchestral composition for 120 voices—paint a multi-layered, double portrait of Picasso and Darboven, which interrogates the role of repetition, citation and homage in art.


Jeff Wall produced four new monumentally-scaled, black-and-white prints for his Deutsche Guggenheim exhibition Exposure, in which he engaged the twinned histories of documentary photography and neo-realist film. Like the auteurs of these traditions, Wall takes an unvarnished look at the lives of the underprivileged, made all the more stark through the monochromatic gelatin-silver medium.


Phoebe Washburn’s installations often explore generative systems based on absurd patterns of production. Her Deutsche Guggenheim commission, the room-sized Regulated Fool’s Milk Meadow, 2007, was conceived as a self-contained "factory" that incorporates its own product—grass for the project’s sod roof—into the installation over the course of the exhibition. Small plots of soil are shuttled by a conveyor belt through different stations for light and water to nourish the growth of grass before being shifted to the roof of the structure where the roof-top meadow will eventually atrophy and wither, thus exhibiting the full cycle of growth and decay.


About the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin

 In 1997, Deutsche Bank and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation created the Deutsche Guggenheim, an exhibition space located on Berlin’s historic Unter der Linden. The regularly acclaimed exhibitions and art events have since become an integral part of the capital’s cultural activities and attract 170,000 visitors annually. The Deutsche Guggenheim was conceived as a collaboration between both partners and consists of three main objectives: the presentation of thematic exhibitions which recognize artists who have contributed significantly to the development of art, the presentation of works from the Deutsche Bank Collection, and commissions of site-specific works by both young and established artists.


The Commissioning Program

The Deutsche Guggenheim represents a unique agreement between a nonprofit foundation and a major corporation. Deutsche Bank’s support for an ongoing series of major commissions that premiere at the museum in Berlin extends the Guggenheim Foundation’s collection of distinguished artists by giving Guggenheim Foundation a 50% interest in the art created. Several leading contemporary artists have created some of their best recent work as a result of this program.

An integral part of Deutsche Guggenheim’s program is its ongoing series of artist commissions. Artists who have created new works as part of this program since its inception include: John Baldessari, Hanne Darboven, William Kentridge, Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter, James Rosenquist, Andreas Slominski, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Bill Viola, Phoebe Washburn, Lawrence Weiner, Rachel Whiteread, and the commission currently on view by Jeff Wall.  Future commissions include works by Anish Kapoor and Julie Mehretu.


Deutsche Bank: Committed to Art

In 1979, Deutsche Bank became one of the first companies to link contemporary art with the working world. Since that time, Deutsche Bank has set a benchmark for corporate commitment to the arts. Today, the Deutsche Bank Collection is the largest corporate collection worldwide and includes over 50,000 works shown in bank offices on all five continents. The collection, which mainly concentrates on works on paper, mirrors the art of a century, ranging from post-war to the present day. For clients and visitors, the Deutsche Bank Collection is a unique and memorable encounter with contemporary art and an opportunity to experience the work of some of the most important artists of our time outside of an art museum.

"Art in the Workplace" was conceived for cultural enrichment and not investment. Art’s ability to reflect upon the past, visualize current developments and open eyes to the future are perspectives that Deutsche Bank values.


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Eleanor Goldhar, Deputy Director, External Affairs
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Tel: 212 423 3528

Renee Calabro, Media Relations
Deutsche Bank AG
Tel: 212 250 5525


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