Mudec Deutsche Bank © Jule Hering
MILAN – The MUDEC – Museum of Cultures of Milan – hosts from” 8 September to 23 October 2022 the exhibition “Deutsche Bank Artists of the Year 2021”, dedicated to winners of the prestigious international recognition that the bank dedicates to contemporary art, which this year reaches its own tenth edition.
The prize was awarded for the first time to three artists: Maxwell Alexandre (Brazil), Conny Maier (Germany), e Zhang Xu Zhan (Taiwan).
The works of the Brazilian Maxwell Alexandre, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1990, are focused on racism and police violence, but also on community and spirituality. They are inspired by the same life as him: the artist grew up in the largest favela in Rio de Janeiro, Rocinha. His series Forbes Under 30 of the cycle 500 Year Party explore the imagery of the Brazilian media. The artist repeatedly repainted the cover of the Brazilian edition of Forbes magazine in 2019, which had named him among the 90 most successful in his country, changing the shades of the skin of the protagonists. A serial reflection on systemic racism, on the elite and the Brazilian class.
With Conny Maier, born in Berlin, the bank bestows the award for the first time on a German artist, one of the most interesting on the country’s art scene. In her works, Maier combines a neo-expressive and comic style with a keen sense of color and composition. Her impressive work cycles focus on the existential interrelation between humans and nature, personified in a variety of animals.
In his animated films, sculptures and video installations, the artist Zhang Xu Zhan, born in Taipei in 1988, has created a fantastic cosmos populated by mythical creatures, singing animals, plants and spirits of nature and dominated by ancient rituals: an apocalyptic and fairytale world at the same time that investigates universal themes such as death, transience and community research. The artist, interested in the themes of spirituality, folklore and anthropology, transfers his personal tradition to the world of contemporary art, being part of a family that for over a century has dedicated itself to the production and trade of figurines of traditional paper.
Deutsche Bank, which has been involved in the promotion of contemporary art for over 40 years, has been awarding this award since 2010 to emerging artists who work mainly with paper or photography, the privileged means of the works that make up the Deutsche Bank Collection, born in the middle of the seventies, which today represents one of the most important corporate collections at an international level. The winner is chosen on the recommendation of the Global Art Advisory Council of the bank, made up of internationally renowned curators of the caliber of Victoria Noorthoorn, Hou Hanru And Udo Kittelmann. Instead of awarding a cash prize, Deutsche Bank supports its own Artists of the Year helping to make them known to the general public, producing a solo exhibition and a catalog, and purchasing some of their works for the collection. Since 2018, the artists’ personal exhibition opens at the PalaisPopulaire, the Deutsche Bank space in Berlin dedicated to art and culture, and is subsequently set up in other international institutions.
MUDEC – Museum of Cultures of Milan
Via Tortona, 56 – Milan