Each year the Deutsche Guggenheim presented four first-rate exhibitions with a focus upon the art of the 20th and 21st century.
With its 350 square meters, the exhibition area was an ideal space for a detailed focus on particular themes, as well as on groups of works created by individual artists or typical of specific trends. The exhibition hall transformed itself again and again from one presentation to the next, and it offered surprises with fresh spatial aspects. The multi-faceted program of the Deutsche Guggenheim, which had been developed through intense collaboration between the two partners, was comprised of three major elements.
Alongside the exhibitions devoted to individual artists or themes and enriched by works on loan from international museums, institutions, and private collections, the gallery presented each year an exhibition with works from the Deutsche Bank Collection. The most unique aspect of the concept, however, consisted of the presentation of site-specific works commissioned for the exhibition hall.
© Jeff Wall
© Anish Kapoor
At least once a year, an artist was presented with a new work which has been specifically created for the exhibition space Unter den Linden. Paintings by James Rosenquist and Jeff Koons, photos by Hiroshi Sugimoto and Jeff Wall as well as ,large-scale installations by Lawrence Weiner, Phoebe Washburn and Anish Kapoor transformed the exhibition space in their own particular way. Among the the spectacular high points in this series have also been the video work Going Forth by Day by Bill Viola, the monochrome glass-work Eight Grey by Gerhard Richter, and Somewhere Between Almost Right and Not Quite (With Orange) by John Baldessari.
Intertwined, 2003 (Detail)
© Wangechi Mutu and Susanne Vielmetter
Los Angeles Projects
With the "Artist of the Year" award, Deutsche Bank was opening a new chapter in its commitment to art. Based on a recommendation by Deutsche Bank´s Global Art Advisory Council which includes internationally renowned curators Okwui Enwezor, Hou Hanru, Udo Kittelmann, and Nancy Spector, the bank honored a young artist who had already amassed an unmistakable and extraordinary oeuvre, in which works on paper or photography play an important role. The prize was not based on a financial reward, but positioned as an integral part of Deutsche Bank´s art program that has been opening up the world of contemporary art to the public for the last thirty years - through Deutsche Bank´s own substantial collection, its exhibitions, and its joint projects with partners.
Each "Artist of the Year" was featured in a large solo exhibition at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, which subsequently moved on to other international institutions. An exclusive print edition designed by the artist and a catalog appeared concurrently with the exhibition. In addition, a selection of the artist´s works on paper were acquired for the Deutsche Bank Collection.
True North, 2008
With its solo or thematic exhibitions drawn from international collections, the Deutsche Guggenheim presented artists or art trends that up to now have seldom or never received attention in Berlin.
Beginning with the opening exhibition, Visions of Paris: Robert Delaunay´s Series, further exhibitions such as After Mountains and Sea: Helen Frankenthaler 1956 – 1959 or Dan Flavin the concept provided successful.
On display were not only representative objects from the collections of the Guggenheim or the Deutsche Bank, but also unique works of art belonging to international museums. Cooperative efforts with the Albertina in Vienna upon the occasion of the exhibition From Dürer to Rauschenberg, or with numerous Russian national or regional museums for the exhibition Amazons of the Avant-Garde and Kazimir Malevich: Suprematism represent only two examples of the Guggenheim´s well established network within the landscape of international museums.
Private collections and lenders have played a crucial role as well in the realization of individual projects such as On the Sublime: Mark Rothko, Yves Klein, James Turrell or Eduardo Chillida – Antoni Tà pies or Bruce Nauman: Theaters of Experience.