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PastPresentFuture – Highlights from the UniCredit Group Collection

  • 16

    October 2009
  • 10

    January 2010
Bank Austria Kunstforum, Vienna  

UniCredit Group's exhibition PastPresentFuture creates a dialogue between eras and languages, while providing new perspectives through art. Eighty works of art are on display in the seven galleries of the Vienna Kunstforum. The exhibition brings these important works, which span four centuries of European art, together for the first time from the collections of the banks that comprise UniCredit Group.


"The Group's collection is an asset that speaks to our past and present, while underscoring our identity, values and the relationships we build with the communities in which we operate," said Alessandro Profumo, CEO of UniCredit Group.


The exhibition is on display at Bank Austria's Kunstforum in Vienna, from October 16 to January 20, 2010 and features work by Doug Aitken, Stephan Balkenhol, Olivo Barbieri, Gabriele Basilico, Pieter Van Bloemen, Paul Bril, Balthasar Burkhard, Vincenzo Castella, Giorgio De Chirico, Antonio Donghi, Dosso Dossi, Francisco Goya, Giulio Paolini, Gerolamo Savoldo and Andy Warhol, among others. Curated by Walter Guadagnini, President of the Scientific Committee of UniCredit & Art, the show focuses on classical themes from art history: man's relationship with the world, nature, his body, objects and self-reflection.


For UniCredit Group, operating across Europe and in 22 countries, art is an asset that reflects the company's history and identity. It serves as a means of communication that can bring people together and foster new ideas. This exhibition creates a dialogue between old and contemporary works, and, in the process, pays tribute to historical masterpieces while creating a foundation for new interpretations relevant to contemporary art. The result inspires reflection on our surroundings.


The show opens with a section entitled "On Classic," which connects contemporary artists - including Thomas Struth, Candida Höfer, Olivo Barbieri and Giulio Paolini - with past masters, such as the bambocciante Van Bloemen, the pictor classicus De Chirico and the decadent Makart. Their work contributes new form and meaning to historical themes.


Next, the section "Sublime and Picturesque," joins the 17th century painter Paul Bril with the leading member of the "Barbizon School," Charles Daubigny, as well as contemporary artists Georg Baselitz, Gerhard Richter, and Andreas Gursky.


The section "Metropolis" includes works by major contemporary photographers Andreas Gursky, Massimo Vitali, Gabriele Basilico, Fischli & Weiss, Lorca di Corcia and Wolfgang Tillmans. It analyzes and develops the relationship between the individual and urban spaces.


The exhibition then explores the theme of the "rule," which characterizes the room "On Geometry." It includes works by Imi Knoebel, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Ghada Amer and others.


Representations of the body and face are featured in "Body Talk" and "Face to Face," two of the show's most striking sections. Visitors can admire a masterpiece by Antonio Donghi next to a photo by Valie Export, a pioneer of the Viennese Body Art; Dossi's beautiful "Psiche abbandonata da Amore" along side photos by E.J. Bellocq; Savoldo's "Portrait of a Gentleman" next to the anonymous faces portrayed by the young Austrian artist Hans Schabus; Baglione's extremely rare "La testa del Battista presentata ad Erode" next to Trude Fleischmann's photograph of Alban Berg's death mask.


The exhibit closes with "Objects of Desire," in which an installation by Tony Cragg is juxtaposed next to a large composition by Recco, and a still life by Ruoppolo is displayed alongside Warhol's famous "Flowers."


he exhibition will travel next to Palazzo della Ragione in Verona, where it will be on display from February 27 to June 3, 2010. The event will be organized in cooperation with Fondazione Cariverona, which will integrate works from its own collection into each section of the show, many of which will be seen for the first time.



(picture: Giulio Paolini, Three Times Three (Each is the other or no one), 1998 1999 Plaster Sculpture vary measures © Giulio Paolini Photo: Courtesy Archivio Giulio Paolini)