Concept behind the collection

Taryn Simon
Troy Webb, 2002
Aus der Serie: The Innocents
123 x 159 cm

The DZ BANK Art Collection was established in 1993 and is the corporate collection of DZ BANK AG, which is headquartered in Frankfurt/Main Germany. Comprising more than 7,500 works of art by over 800 international artists, the Collection is one of the largest of its kind. Its focus is on contemporary art as manifested in the photographic image. What is meant by this is all works of art which have undergone a technical, photographic process during the course of their genesis. This includes collages, photographs which have been painted on or over, photograms and pictorial material manipulated using a computer. From the outset, selection criteria have been the classic art history genres such as portraits, still lifes, landscapes, interiors etc.

Giorgia Fiorio
Sema Lesson. Whirling Dervishes Mevlevi. Konya, Turkey, 2006
Aus der Serie: The Gift 2000-2009
100 x 100 cm

The Collection has always shown a particular interest in photographic works by artists better known in other fields of art, such as painting or sculpture, artists who take a different approach to photography and can offer viewers a new perspective on the medium.

One of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Collection was the idea of art as an internal communications tool. Today, almost all 50 storeys at the Westend 1 tower have formed the backdrop for art shows. Not only does this create an inspiring working environment, the ensuing discussions on the artist(s) in question also promote communication between employees. A democratic selection process covering eight curated single-storey exhibitions a year allows them to choose for themselves which works of art will be hung on their corridors . If you are interest in the art on other floors please refer to our range of guided tours on specific subjects.

Altan Eskin
Ohne Titel (#1), 2009
Aus der Serie: My shelter, your place
50 x 60 cm

DZ BANK sees art as part of its corporate culture. Alongside its activities as a collector and sponsor of art, the Bank also considers it the company’s duty to provide society with access to its art. Over the years, the Collection has increasingly become the subject of public attention – initially, in the form of guided art tours through the storey exhibitions and, as of 1998, in exhibitions at national and international exhibition centres, as was the case with “The Promise of Photography”, "Real", "Road Atlas, Street Photography from Helen Levitt to Peter Hugo", "Heimat" and many others. The establishment of ART FOYER, a 300-square metre exhibition space in Frankfurt/Main, has meant that since 2006 it has been possible to offer the general public access to the Bank’s extensive inventory within a museum framework, with four changing exhibitions per year. Five days per week, ART FOYER can be visited free of charge.

Following the bestowal of a selection of more than 220 photographic works to Frankfurt’s Städel Museum, works from the DZ Bank Art Collection have been on permanent show there since 2011.


Moreover, a large number of works from the DZ BANK Art Collection are to be found as part of other national and international exhibitions, where they take the form of loans.

Since the 20th anniersary of the Collection in 2013, we are focusing more strongly on supporting artists in the form of a scholarship programme. Every two years, a selected specialist jury consisting of exhibition organizers, artists and theorists awards project-based working bursaries to two artists. The five finalists can, moreover, be seen in a special exhibition at the ART FOYER.


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