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Q&A: Liz Christensen keeps Deutsche Bank's collection contemporary

March 3, 2016 // by Jaime DeSimone

Liz Christensen is the curator for Deutsche Bank's impressive collection of more than 5,000 artists from more than forty countries. The corporate collection forges innovative connections with the art world by supporting artists and community partners, including the first corporate commission of artwork from James Rosenquist, whose work is featured in Time Zones and MOCA Jacksonville's Permanent Collection. In preparation for her talk on Thursday, March 10, at MOCA, we asked her a few questions.

Liz Christensen b
Liz Christensen is the curator for Deutsche Bank's art collection.

What about Deutsche Bank appealed to you when you took your position with the company?

When I started, the Bank had an extensive collection of works on paper by so many contemporary German-speaking artists that I had just finished studying in grad school. I was in heaven!!

The art team in Germany was young and bright and thinking globally … it was so exciting. Most importantly, the support for and commitment to art and culture on the part of the Management Board was awesome to me.

Who are some emerging artists you are currently following?

Too many to list, but we are continuing to collect works on paper by new artists emerging on the international scene.

Are there any projects you are particularly excited about that you can share with us?

I am currently working with the New York-based artist Xaviera Simmons on a site-specific installation for our VIP Lounge at Frieze, New York, in May. She is amazing in that she thinks macro and micro at the same time and is able to fuse disparate concepts in an interesting and successful way. Xaviera has also been invited to organize a show for us in New York at our on-site 60 Wall Gallery. The exhibition will be thematic and will engage with our collection as well as include several works by invited artists working in other media such as Sheila Hicks and Leonardo Drew.

Do you have a favorite James Rosenquist work of art in the Deutsche Bank collection?

It has to be The Swimmer in the Econo-mist series bc these works have so much resonance-and so much richness-not just in terms of color and aesthetics, but in terms of the times in which they were made and the story that they tell about history, about popular culture, and about Rosenquist himself. That said, we also have a painting on paper in the collection called Mirage with Bedsheet Escape Ladder that is also fantastic; it has a hanging sculptural element that is quite inventive and amusing.

What is the best exhibition you've visited in the past year?

So many, and for different reasons. I loved Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting at the Guggenheim, which gave me a new respect for the artist and his work when seen together, chronologically, and against the backdrop of history. And I just saw Amy Sillman's show of paintings and drawings at Sikkema Jenkins Gallery. Everyone who loves or is studying abstract painting should see this gorgeous show; the works are fresh and generous.

Register for Christen's talk here.

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