In an article for DesignCurial, Shumi Bose visits OMA’s new galleries in Milan and Moscow: the Fondazione Prada and the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. Noting that “the mythologies [between OMA and Miuccia Prada] have become inextricably intertwined” over recent years, “the purpose of [the Fondazione Prada] was to produce a range of spaces for the creation, display of and engagement with art; what results is the built realisation of a particular ethos, affording the protean OMA a return to form. And it was always going to be stylish.” Bose’s flowing description of the building and its spaces, which she ultimately praises as “a place which will bear return,” leads into an equally compelling description of Garage for which she recognises its clear “contribution […] in supporting, indeed composing, the very narrative of Russian contemporary art.” Read the article in full here (on four pages). http://www.designcurial.com/news/all-that-glisters-oma-galleries-in-milan-and-moscow-4636988/http://www.archdaily.com/643448/critical-round-up-oma-s-garage-museum-of-contemporary-art —————-
MOST corporate curators disavow selling works purely for profit. Nonetheless sales regularly happen: Sotheby’s sold $75m of corporate art in 2014 (minus the buyer’s premium). There are several motives. Even in good times companies may decide to put works on the market to fund new acquisitions or because, after buying another company, they find themselves with a collection that does not suit their preferred public image. After buying US asset manager Scudder Investments in 2002, for instance, Deutsche sold off works from its collection, typified by Midwestern agricultural landscapes. Purchases of art largely ground to a halt in 2008 and 2009, but curators say this was because the financial slowdown halted banks’ plans for new corporate buildings, whose decorative needs remain the primary motive for a buying spree. Hütte of Deutsche Bank Art says: “Stopping acquisitions was never a serious option. Of course, there were times when we spent less or more. But it depends which projects are on the agenda — new buildings, exhibitions or other programmes.” Acquisitions have since recovered: UBS, for instance, started buying again in 2009 and its purchases are now back to 2007 levels. After decades of collecting contemporary art, some companies have accumulated highly sought-after works. Most will loan them out for public exhibitions when asked, usually without a fee. But the bigger collections will sometimes put on more ambitious temporary exhibitions of their own selected works: UBS has held shows at MOMA in New York, London’s Tate Modern and Beijing’s National Art Museum of China. Companies promote the social responsibility of their art activities but corporate collecting also remains what it has always been: good for business. As Kai Kuklinski, CE of insurer Axa Art Group, wrote in his foreword to Global Corporate Collections: “Broadly speaking, the nature of the patronage afforded to art by both private and mercantile wealth hasn’t fundamentally changed since the height of the Medici age.” Most big corporate art collections are held by financial services companies but some industrial businesses have built up sizeable troves of their own. Statoil, the Norwegian oil and gas producer, has 1,350 works acquired since the early 1990s. These are not only displayed in its administrative offices: on its Grane oil platform, a monumental portrait of a woman by Anne-Karin Furunes stands beside the helicopter pad, fashioned from perforated aluminium to withstand the rigours of the North Sea. Others build public galleries for their work, such as Shiseido, the Japanese cosmetics company, which owns 2,500 modern Japanese paintings, sculptures and installations. Its works are put on revolving display at the Shiseido Art House, built in 1978 and free to the public. For most companies, contemporary art is à la mode, but some set narrower criteria: Ritter Sport, the German maker of square chocolates, has assembled more than 1,000 works in a blocky public gallery near its Waldenbuch headquarters. They are either in the shape of a square or explore the idea of the square.