Paintings and works on paper

Blick in die 13. Etage der Bundesbank-Zentrale in Frankfurt am Main

The Bundesbank’s art collection, having grown over a number of decades at many points across Germany, is presented at various locations. The wide range of artistic focuses at these locations have contributed to the variety of the collection, allowing visitors to make exciting discoveries throughout the bank.

At the Bank’s Central Office in Frankfurt am Main, for instance, the viewer will come across works by big names in representative and abstract painting such as Georg Baselitz, Günter Fruhtrunk, Rupprecht Geiger, K.O. Götz, Karl Hofer, Jörg Immendorff, Ernst Wilhelm Nay and Emil Schumacher. In Hamburg there is a selection of paintings by Eduard Bargheer. The Bundesbank’s offices in eastern Germany, on the other hand, tend to have more works by artists from the eastern federal states.

Ida Kerkovius, Composition, 1955

Ida Kerkovius, Composition, 1955, mixed media on paper, 31 x 37 cm
Ida Kerkovius, Composition, 1955, mixed media on paper, 31 x 37 cm

Ida Kerkovius, born in 1879, belongs to the first generation of female artists who, albeit under difficult conditions and against much resistance, received professional training and were able to steadily pursue an artistic career thereafter. She was a master student in Dachau and Stuttgart under Adolf Hölzel, one of the most interesting tutors of his day. Hölzel’s teaching method was based on the communication of compositional principles, which were intended to give students a foundation on which to develop their own means of artistic expression. He encouraged them to move away from the representational in order to be able to freely handle the artistic medium.

Between 1920 and 1923, Kerkovius continued her studies at the newly founded Bauhaus in Weimar, developing her own visual language based on line, form and colour. A striking feature of this language is the luminous, high-contrast colouring, the intensity of which was increased by combining such diverse materials as watercolour, gouache and pastel. The compositions are often non-representational, though she frequently alludes to figures or objects. This is also the case in this painting – one of her late works – which allows countless permutations of possibilities: thus seated figures within a bisected space with strong light-dark contrasts could, for example, be freely interpreted as depicting a stage performance such as a concert.