Two corporate collections expose for the first time
Over the years, the Deutsche Bundesbank and the National Bank of Belgium have each built up a collection of contemporary art focused on artists from their country. For the first time, the two central banks are now opening up a major part of their collections to the general public. The exhibition is being staged in the Bank’s renovated modernist banking hall, right in the centre of Brussels.
As an institution serving the public interest, guardian of the currency since 1850 – and part of the monetary union for over 20 years – the National Bank of Belgium has, since 1972, also maintained a collection of contemporary Belgian art, which is kept in its offices on the boulevard de Berlaimont in Brussels. Owing to the lack of appropriate exhibition space – one does not simply walk into a central bank – this collection had never previously been put on display.
Unique collections, little known architecture
Since the mid-20th century, the two central banks have been committed to supporting contemporary art in their respective countries. Focusing on living art, without any commercial agenda, they have both put together original collections, unique in their genre. With some of the greatest artists inspiring international painting since the 1980s, such as Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz, A. R. Penck and Jörg Immendorff, the German collection will showcase a selection of exceptional talents – too seldom exhibited – while the National Bank of Belgium’s collection will feature extraordinary artists such as Michaël Matthys, Jacques Lizène, Ann-Veronica Janssens, Marthe Wéry, Marianne Berenhaut, and many others.