Continuity and Vision:
40 Years of the Deutsche Bank Collection

Max Bill’s twisted granite sculpture “Continuity,” Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s installation "The Gates" in New York's Central Park, Cao Fei’s vision of a virtual, futuristic setting in the middle of nowhere: On a monthly basis, we show a work that represents a period of contemporary history and reflects the Deutsche Bank Collection, which is celebrating its 40th birthday this year. This time we are showcasing Koki Tanaka’s “Go to a flower market and make a bouquet of flowers as big as possible” (2008).

Koki Tanaka: „Go to a flower market and make a bouquet of flowers as big as possible“, 2008
From the series “Precarious Tasks”

The 40th anniversary of the Deutsche Bank Collection coincides with another very special birthday: Deutsche Bank’s 150th. The development of the collection and that of the company have always been closely linked. Today, they are both facing new challenges and opportunities presented by the digital revolution and globalization, which offer completely new possibilities and visions. The Deutsche Bank Collection has always been completely committed to the present. For art after 1945, it is one of the most important corporate collections worldwide. At the same time it has retained its experimental character. To this day, the collection is not only oriented to the epicenters and well-known protagonists of the art world, but also to places where new, creative, and unusual works emerge, where unconventional ideas and perspectives are developed. For forty years, Deutsche Bank’s commitment to art has focused on promotion and education, and on creating new platforms: With the “Artist of the Year” award, up-and-coming talents are fostered and presented to the general public.

As Global Lead Partner, the bank has been cooperating with Frieze London for sixteen years. New York came later, and in 2019 Los Angeles. These fairs are platforms for contemporary art. With spectacular projects and ambitious educational programs, they bring contemporary art closer to tens of thousands of visitors. Deutsche Bank is also a pioneer in the field of digital art education. In cooperation with IBM, a digital exhibition guide was developed expressly for the PalaisPopulaire that uses artificial intelligence to explain images. This March, for the first time in Europe, visitors will be able to talk with MIA at the exhibition Time Present. Photography from the Deutsche Bank Collection.

Art has accompanied our company for 40 years. It is a think tank for the future. That’s why in the years to come we want our global commitment to continue to create the broadest and most innovative access possible to new ideas, positions, and talents in the fields of art, culture, and sports.

Koki Tanaka
“Go to a flower market and make a bouquet of flowers as big as possible,” 2008
From the series “Precarious Tasks”

Nothing is more exciting than life: Whether Koki Tanaka has people handle a completely oversized bouquet of flowers or has nine hairdressers jointly cut a woman’s hair, the Japanese artist explores the possibilities and impossibilities of collective action with subtle humor. In his work, everything is in flux. "The most important thing is the process," Tanaka says. Accordingly, he designed his 2015 exhibition at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle as a mixture of installation, warehouse, and laboratory. And of course, due to his process orientation, Tanaka’s first major solo show looked quite different on the second stop of the tour at the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma, one of Deutsche Bank’s partner museums.

But both versions share a feeling of freedom and the courage to experiment, which for the artist includes the courage to fail. "But even if we fail a hundred times," he explains, "we can still achieve something in the end. That’s the only way we can create a better world.” It is precisely this utopian, optimistic aspect that gives Tanaka's work relevance.