The PalaisPopulaire's exterior.
Photo: Mathias Schormann

Deutsche Bank’s Incredible New Arts Center Opens in Berlin

The inaugural show draws from the bank’s collection of 50,000 artworks
The PalaisPopulaire’s exterior. Photo: Mathias Schormann

Berlin is undergoing a thrilling cultural revival. And that latest addition to its art scene is the PalaisPopulaire, a stately rococo mansion that has been transformed by Deutsche Bank into a swanky new exhibition space for its 50,000-piece art collection.

The Prinzessinnenpalais on Berlin’s Unter den Linden has a storied past. It was originally a palace before the building was destroyed in World War II. It then became known as Opera Café after the East German authorities rebuilt its Rococo facade to house a modern restaurant. Now, a sleek, minimalist redesign by the architecture firm Kuehn Malvezzi welcomes a new home for the Deutsche Bank collection, one of the world’s largest corporate art collections, which is held throughout the company’s 900 branches in 40 countries.

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With three times more space than its previous venue at the bank’s nearby Kunsthalle, which closed in April this year, the company plans to rotate the displays every 11 months and to stage three temporary exhibitions a year.

Wangechi Mutu, The Bride Who Married a Camel’s Head, 2009, on view “The World on Paper – Deutsche Bank Collection”.

“Works will come to Berlin that have never been shown here before,” says Friedhelm Huette, curator for Deutsche Bank’s art collection,

First up is “The World on Paper,” which draws on the bank’s extensive collection of paper-based works. The selection of around 300 highlights—from 1960 to today—will demonstrate both the collection’s international scope and the focus on young or as lesser known artists that the bank has been collecting. Expect names like Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, and Christo & Jeanne Claude with artists like Tanaka, Meschac Gaba, or Phoebe Washburn.

A 2005 collage by Ellen Gallagher at the PalaisPopulaire in Berlin. Photo: Alex Delfanne, Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Soon to come are collaborations with private collectors and major institutions such as the Tate and the Guggenheim and further collection presentations are planned on themes of “Photography” and “Asia.”

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The stairacase inside the PalaisPopulaire.

As Josephine Ackermann, deputy global head art, culture, and sports, puts it: “We want our new house to be open, not elitist, a meeting place for different spirits that offers everyone who takes part new experiences.”

Katharina Grosse, Untitled, 1995, is on view. Photo: Courtesy of Deutsche Bank

“The World on Paper – Deutsche Bank Collection” runs through January 7, 2019. 

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