Beuys to Hirst at the Dean Gallery, Edinburgh.

| 20 November 2001
Left: Damien Hirst, Valium, 2000. Lamda on gloss Fuji archive. Copyright, Damien Hirst.

There's a rare chance this Christmas to catch some of the gems of the Deutsche Bank collection of contemporary art at the Dean Gallery, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, until January 13.

This showing at the Dean Gallery is the first time the collection has been seen in public in Britain. 'Beuys to Hirst' brings together nearly a hundred Deutsche Bank Collection works in a variety of media by a selection of key British and German artists from the last fifty years.

Right: Richard Hamilton, I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas, 1971.Collotype and screenprint. Copyright, Richard Hamilton, all rights reserved, DACS.

Since 1979 the bank has been buying modern art to show in its offices, meeting rooms, board rooms and public spaces - an enlightened attitude which has accumulated the largest international collection of modern art in the world.

Left: Untitled, 1997by Georg Bazelitz. (And yes, it's meant to be upside down!)

The collection of 50,000 paintings, prints and sculpture was bought not with investment in mind, but to enrich the working lives of staff. Recently there has been a declared policy of concentrating on the work of young and up and coming artists. As a result the bank has early work by some of the most prominent artists working in Britain - artists like Damien Hirst, Mark Quinn and Christine Borland.

Right: Joseph Beuys, Deklaration, 1969. Pencil and filter bag on paper. Copyright, DACS.

German works include seventeen drawings by Joseph Beuys along with works by artists who rose to prominence in the 1960s and 1970s and have since become modern masters: Anselm Kiefer, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz and Blinky Palermo.

Joseph Beuys has a history in the Scottish capital: the former Nazi pilot was as controversial in the 'seventies as Damien Hirst was in the 'nineties. His work was championed by the Edinburgh gallery owner Richard Demarco and Beuys became one of the key artists in Europe - though he remained largely unknown in Britain.

Left: Tony Cragg, Secretions, 1998. Thermoplastic (dice) and fibreglass.

Tony Cragg's dice sculpture, Secretions 1998, forms a centrepiece to a group of works by British artists including Anish Kapoor, Edward Allington and Richard Deacon.

Another room in the exhibition is devoted to photographs by mainly young British and German artists, all of whom have achieved international stature over the last few years. They include Bernd and Hilla Becher, Thomas Struth, Hannah Collins, Mat Collishaw, Susan Derges, Rut Blees Luxembourg and Siobhán Hapaska.

Right: Christine Borland, The Velocity of Drops: Stairwell - Running, Falling, Rising, detail, 1995. From a series of 6 photographs. Copyright, Christine Borland.

As this exhibition opens, so too does a new Deutsche Bank building at Crewe Toll, Edinburgh. Rooms there are named after seven Scottish artists: Charles Avery, Christine Borland, Steven Campbell, Moyna Flannigan, Hamish Fulton, Mark Johnston and Callum Innes.

Each room contains work by the artist in question, with explanatory literature for staff and visitors. Hanging in the main reception is Alison Watt's Suspend, bought by Deutsche Bank from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art's Alison Watt show in 2000.

A new book on the collection, Art Works: British and German Contemporary Art 1960-2000 (Merrell Publishers 2001), will accompany the exhibition

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