40 Years of the Deutsche Bank Collection
Rainer Fetting: "Girl and Vogel", 1982

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.


Rainer Fetting
Girl and Vogel, 1982

© Rainer Fetting


This painting stands emblematically for the beginnings of the collection. Rainer Fetting’s Girl and Vogel provided the cover motif for Deutsche Bank’s first catalog, which documented the artworks in the bank’s Frankfurt Towers in 1989. At that time, the focus was still entirely on contemporary art in the German-speaking world. The bank viewed Fetting’s tempera drawing as a symbol for the concept of “art at the workplace,” which offered employees immediate and surprising encounters with works from the corporate collection. This is one reason why ”Girl and Vogel” was selected as one of the 300 works for 25, the 2005 show commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Deutsche Bank Collection in exhibition architecture by Zaha Hadid.

Recently, the neo-Expressionist painting of the “Junge Wilde,” including Fetting, Salomé, and Elvira Bach, has experienced a resurgence. These artists were on view in the 2015 exhibitionThe 80s: Figurative Painting in West Germany at Frankfurt’s Städel Museum, which was sponsored by Deutsche Bank and supported with loans from the collection. The show took a fresh look at the rebellious painters of this period and made an entire generation of artists the topic of discussion once again.