The UniCredit Group Collection includes more than 60,000 works. Its historical and artistic scope is wide-ranging and embraces prehistoric artifacts from Mesopotamia to great works by such Italian masters as Canaletto and Tintoretto. Modern masters, including Yves Klein, Fernand Léger, Giorgio Morandi, Kurt Schwitters and Oskar Kokoschka, also make up an important part of the collection, as do such internationally renowned contemporary artists as Christo, Georg Baselitz, Gerhard Richter and Andreas Gursky. The collection includes 4,000 works of photography, along with some 20,000 other items created by masters from the past.
Works from the HVB collection in Germany have been loaned to institutions throughout Europe. These include the Tate Modern in England, the Winterthur Museum in Switzerland, the Boijmans Van Beuningen in the Netherlands, and various venues in Germany, including the Haus der Kunst, the Kunsthalle, the Sprengel Museum and the Pinakothek der Moderne.
In Croatia, for the Zagreb exhibition German Expressionism, works by Max Pechstein, Christian Rohlfs, Max Liebermann, Max Slevogt, Lyonel Feininger and Franz Radziwill were loaned to the Klovićevi dvori Gallery. In Munich, pieces by Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Tony Cragg, Isa Genzken, Kurt Schwitters, Georg Baselitz, Adolf Heinrich Lier, Gerhard Richter, Karl Millner and Georg Flegel, among others, were recently featured in the show Brillantfeuerwerk at the Haus der Kunst, which closed on 10 January. And in an upcoming exhibition entitled Walt Disney, running from February through April 2009, a work by François Boucher will travel to Finland's Helsinki City Art Museum.
A painting by Oskar Kokoschka from the collection of Bank Austria has been loaned to Vienna's Albertina. Also in the Austrian capital city, work of photographer Dora Kallmus was on display at the Jewish Museum until last September, while Salzburg's Museum der Moderne exhibited a painting by Franz von Bayros until mid-October. And these represent only the major loans. Following a show held at the Bank Austria Kunstforum in Vienna, the Salzburg Museum will receive a significant loan of 250 photographs that are currently on display at the Narodni Galerie in Prague, one of our bank's many partners.
In 2009, the historic relationship between Italy and China will be celebrated with the loan of an important work by Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo entitled Ritratto di Gentiluomo con Flauto (Portrait of a Gentleman with a Flute) to both the National Art Museum of China in Beijing (1 May to 18 June 2009) and the Palazzo Venezia in Rome (7 October 2009 to 7 February 2010). UniCredit Group joins the ranks of a number of prominent institutional lenders, which range from the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Prado Museum in Madrid, and the Palazzo Pitti in Florence to the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
At the Musée National d'Histoire et d'Art of Luxembourg, the Italian Embassy has organized an exhibition for 2009 that involves several Italian banks through the ABI Association. On the occasion of the President of the Italian Republic's next visit to Luxembourg, he and the country's Grand Duke will officially launch this exhibit, which will include works on loan from the Group Collection.
Among the Group's time-honored masterpieces are contemporary works by young artists. This includes several current long-term loans, such as the multi-year project with Bologna's MAMbo, with which UniCredit Group has partnered to promote young Italian artists. The latest work acquired by the Group and on loan to the museum is by Sissi. Francesco Vezzoli's Democrazy, which was on display at the last Venice Biennale, will be on view at the MAXXI in Rome, similar to the recent display of Kutluğ Ataman's video installation, Anatolian Column. Ataman's installation is now a highlight of Linz, the European Capital of Culture. This installation was made possible by the support of Bank Austria.
2009 is expected to be as active as 2008, as the Group's collections stay on the move and change through acquisitions, productions and special initiatives.
A work of Balla from the UniCredit Collection is on display at Palazzo Reale, Milan for the exhibition Futurism 1909-2009. Speed + Art + Action. From February 5 to June 7 more than 240 works including paintings, drawings, sculptures, stage sets and theatrical costumes, photographs and objects, but also furniture, fashion productions and advertising projects celebrate the innovative approach of Futurism.
(Picture: Francesco Simeti, Acrobazie #4, 2008, UniCredit Group Collection)