Dubious Affinities

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AFFINITIES shows a selection of recent acquisitions of the Deutsche Bank Collection. Under the curatorship of Ariane Grigoteit, the exhibition pairs off new acquisitions with masterpieces from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville Paris, the Dakis Joannou Foundation and hitherto never shown works from the Deutsche Bank Collection itself. This new series of exhibitions will now take place every spring presenting recent acquisitions for the Deutsche Bank Collection at the Berlin Guggenheim


It is a curious curatorial conceit that results in exhibitions that pair artists together in a ‘compare and contrast’ exhibitions, as if we are all still trapped in school together and must perform homework exercises to strengthen our art appreciation skills. Such is the case at the Affinities show now hanging at the Deutsche Guggenheim on Unter den Linden. Amusingly one of the pieces in this exhibit – Fernand Leger’s Les Constructeurs au cordage, pictured above, I last saw in an exhibition at the Museum Ludwig in Köln where Leger’s works had been hung in a similar ‘compare and contrast’ exhibition with works by Max Beckmann. Part of me understands that one can only hang an artist’s work so many times before it becomes an exercise in redundancy and it can be enlightening to create an exhibit that traces relationships between artists or the societies they inhabit. Unfortunately a more cynical part of me suspects that since these works are new acquisitions by the Deutsche Bank that relating them to works by more established artists is an intriguing method of ensuring that the market value of their new assets trends in the preferred direction.
Either way there is some interesting work in the show (though i found most of the new acquisitions less interesting than the works they were being compared to). I particularly enjoyed the Kai Althoff and Diamantis Sotiropoulos pieces as well as the large format works of Yan Pei-Ming. Certainly worth checking out – and remember Mondays are FREE!

Affinities
bis 24 June 2007
Deutsche Guggenheim
Unter den Linden 13/15
Daily von 11 bis 20 Uhr
Thursday bis 22 Uhr

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