Almost unknown to the general public owing to the lack of any accessible exhibition venue, the National Bank’s collection of contemporary art is “coming out into the open” with a first exhibition in which it enters into dialogue with the works owned by the Deutsche Bundesbank. The exhibition is being staged in the Bank’s renovated modernist banking hall, right in the centre of Brussels.
As an enterprise serving the public interest, guardian of the currency since 1850 – and part of the Monetary Union for more than 20 years – since 1972 the National Bank has also maintained a collection of contemporary Belgian art which is kept in its offices at boulevard de Berlaimont in Brussels. Owing to the lack of somewhere appropriate to display it - you can’t just stroll into a central bank – this collection had never previously been exhibited.
Unique collections, little known architecture
Since the mid-20th century, the two central banks have been committed to supporting contemporary art in their respective countries. Focusing on living art but without any commercial agenda, they have both put together original collections, unique in their genre. With some of the greatest artists inspiring international painting since the 1980s, such as Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz, AR Penck and Jörg Immendorf, the German collection will come into contact here with a selection of the exceptional talents – too seldom exhibited – which the National Bank has encouraged over the years, such as Michaël Matthys, Jacques Lizène, Ann-Veronica Janssens, Marthe Wéry, Marianne Berenhaut, and many others.
Following the restoration of one wing of the Bank’s vast banking hall (almost 200 metres long!), and with the agreement of the NBB’s German colleague, the Deutsche Bundesbank, it is thus two virtually unique collections that will be open to the public in Brussels. Built around the idea of dialogue (the dialogue between the two institutions, between the public and the institutions, between the works themselves, etc.) the exhibition is arranged around six themes reflected in the German and Belgian works.
Exceptionnally open on:
30 May 10:00 - 22:00
20 June 10:00 - 22:00
18 July 10:00 - 22:00
21 July 10:00 - 18:00
22 Aug. 10:00 - 22:00
15 Sept. 10:00 - 18:00
Guided tours in FR: Arkadia
Guided Tours in ENG, GER, NL: Korei
•groups adults 150 €
•groups schools en article 27 : 80 €
•nocturnes (after18u) 200 €
•Groups: max. 15 people.
•Duration ca. 1u30
Guided tours INDIVIDUALS (fixed dates)
•17/05, 18/05, 08/06, 13/07, 10/08, 07/09
Price Guided Tours individuals:
•students -26y en job-applicants: 5€
•article 27: 1,25€
•kids – 12y: free