The Deutsche Bank KunstHalle is presenting new aspects of the Deutsche Bank Collection in an exhibition series now beginning with The Circle Walked Casually. International guest curators are invited to realize extraordinary exhibitions from the Deutsche Bank Collection—to show the aspects of this inexhaustible source of contemporary art that strike their fancy and to demonstrate which works, artistic themes, and social issues interest them.
As the first curator, the Argentinian Victoria Noorthoorn combines works ranging from classic modernism to current international art in her show. With a unique exhibition architecture, she invites visitors to take an associative stroll through drawing spanning the last hundred years.
The line as a symbol of drawing and the idea of an imaginary, abstract journey are central themes of The Circle Walked Casually. With more than 130 works by 51 international artists from the Deutsche Bank Collection, Noorthoorn creates an extraordinary panorama of international drawing between 1900 and the present. Featuring artists ranging from Josef Albers and Otto Dix, Joseph Beuys and Eva Hesse, to Louise Bourgeois and Jakub Julian Ziólkowski, The Circle Walked Casually honors drawing as a means of expression in contemporary art, as an autonomous medium that is opening up new, contemporary realms of thought and presentation.
“How can a mere line that develops and grows unceremoniously speak of human existence today, of our loneliness? How can it speak of our self-doubt, our longing for love, and of the tours and detours of art by opening doors to permanent movement, change, and social transformation?” These are some of the central issues Noorthoorn addresses.
The Circle Walked Casually documents artistic concepts and formal developments of drawing without providing a chronological development. Instead, the exhibition follows a narrative line arising from a dialogue between the works. Together with the Brazilian set designer, filmmaker, and author Daniela Thomas and the architect Felipe Tassara, Noorthoorn conceptualized an exhibition architecture in which the drawings seem to be suspended in space. The individual works form elements of an intricate story told from work to work. Each work refers to the previous one—invokes it, as it were. This both real and imaginary line created by the sequence of works guides visitors through the exhibition. Mexican artist Erick Beltrán’s design for the exhibition catalogue followed the same underlying principle.
At the same time, the choice of works for The Circle Walked Casually reflects the development of the Deutsche Bank Collection. Beginning with modernism and postwar German art, pioneering works have been collected since the end of the 1970s. In the last few decades the collection has focused increasingly on the global art scene.
Born in 1971, Victoria Noorthoorn stands for a generation of international curators who focus on young artists but also place works from art history in a new context. Aside from current artists, she shows positions which had a strong impact on art in the 1960s and 1970s and have recently been rediscovered. Among these are the Brazilian artist Anna Maria Maiolino, a contemporary of Hélio Oiticica, who took part in the groundbreaking exhibition Objetividade Brasileira in 1967 and who was shown at the last documenta, and David Koloane, who cofounded South Africa’s first black gallery in Johannesburg in 1977 and whose work was on view in the South African pavilion at the Venice Biennale.