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"A Success Story" - The Press on the Deutsche Guggenheim's Farewell Exhibition and on the New "Deutsche Bank KunstHalle"


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“A Success Story”
The Press on the Deutsche Guggenheim’s Farewell Exhibition and on the New “Deutsche Bank KunstHalle”

Cézanne, Kandinsky, Modigliani, Picasso – with “Visions of Modernity” the Guggenheim Foundation presents classical modernist masterpieces. The press is enthusiastic about the show at the Deutsche Guggenheim. With the exhibition Deutsche Bank concludes its collaboration with the New York museum foundation. On this occasion, critics not only look back at a 15-year exhibition program, but also look to the future, to “Deutsche Bank KunstHalle,” which will open in the rooms on Unter den Linden as a platform for international exhibition projects.

“A grandiose finale” (Tagesspiegel), “A wonderful display of classical modernism”  (Berliner Morgenpost), “An exhibition highlight” ( Hannoversche Zeitung & Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten), “Colorful, brilliant, sumptuously beautiful” (Berliner Zeitung) – Visions of Modernity is thrilling the critics. “They saved the best for last“ was the title of the BZ piece. “The soft gloss of Cezanne’s still life shimmers next to van Gogh’s colour landscapes, alongside a painting of the Doge’s Palace prepared by Monet from milky Venetian light as a fragile monument,” reports Jochen Stöckmann in Deutschlandradio Kultur. “More than a few,” remarked Gabriela Walde in the Berliner Morgenpost, “are reminded of the legendary MoMA exibition.” One of the initiators of that show in 2004, which was made possible by Deutsche Bank and broke visitor records, was Peter Raue, the then Chairman of the Society of Friends of the Berlin National Gallery. In his column in Bild he enthused about the “treasure trove” on view in the “splendid exhibition hall”: “The exhibition illustrates the emergence of modernism (…) very non-theoretically, sensually, and with overwhelming beauty” Although it was the last show at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Raue saw “no reason for melancholy.” (…) In the future, these rooms will continue to be used, under the name “Deutsche Bank KunstHalle.” Bravo for the big-hearted museum in New York. Bravo for Deutsche Bank, which will launch a new exhibition concept in March 2012.”

“In 15 years the “Deutsche Guggenheim” presented 61 exhibitions. A success story,” reported Spiegel online. Berliner Morgenpost called the cooperation between Deutsche Bank and the Guggenheim Foundation “a creative artistic marriage.” “Though now it’s time to go their separate ways, both institutions benefited from the cooperation. The Guggenheim did more than just demonstrate its presence in the German capital (…). Deutsche Bank, for its part, established itself with the exhibition venue in Berlin.” Tagesspiegel views the Deutsche Guggenheim as “one of the city’s most important art addresses.” “The mixture,” writes Nicola Kuhn, “of a classical show on Divisionism, Impressionism, and Constructivism, solo exhibitions of Gerhard Richter, Neo Rauch, Hanne Darboven, and new positions such as Agathe Snow, Collier Schorr, and Miwa Yanagi constitute the appeal of this hermaphrodite, a novel form of public private partnership.”

As far as the new “Deutsche Bank KunstHalle” and its program are concerned, the critics’ opinions differ. Nicola Kuhn has the following to say about the first exhibition devoted to Imran Qureshi, the “Artist of the Year” 2013: “The nomination of the artist, who is generally unknown here in Germany, shows the path that will be taken by the future program, which will become more international and younger. The time of big names, of strong emphases, seems to be over.” Gabriela Walde sees things differently. Quershi, she writes, “revives the centuries-old tradition of miniature painting by radical renewing it and imbuing it with current issues. A symposium with the Museum of Islamic Art is planned. It’s about art in Islam. Sounds committed.”

taz reports: “Berlin is finally getting its exhibition hall! But ‘by Deutsche Bank’. That means there will not be more contemporary art, but there will not be less either.” In Süddeutsche Zeitung Lothar Müller writes: „”Stefan Krause, the bank’s Management Board member responsible for art, made the “KunstHalle” seem like the effect of the emancipation from the bank’s partner. After 15 successful years, the bank is no longer dependent on the art aura of the name “Guggenheim”. Spiegel online quotes Friedhelm Hütte, the Global Head of the bank’s art department: “‘In the Kunsthalle we do not intend to act regionally, but globally, showing art from other countries.’”

Silke Hohmann writes in Monopol: “The direction the bank will now take is not completely clear.” Tim Ackermann (Welt) has a similar view: “Management Board member Stefan Krause wants ‚to present young art in the place where it is made faster than state institutions.‘ To track down young artists, time and money are needed. But above all there has to be a vision. If this all comes together at some point, the bank’s exhibition hall could truly become an important venue.” In the Tagesspiegel Volker Hassemer, the chairman of the Stiftung Zukunft Berlin and a former Senator of Culture, is also optimistic. Under the title “Signs and Miracles,” he sees cultural life in a positive light. “Minor miracles also exist. In the future, Deutsche Bank’s exhibition hall will invite international artists to the upper end of Unter den Linden. They will be ambassadors of their societies, of their cultures.”

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