press This category contains the following articles

“A New Audience Magnet”
The Press on the PalaisPopulaire

The Prinzessinnenpalais on Unter den Linden boulevard stood empty for years. Now Deutsche Bank has revived the historic building—as the PalaisPopulaire. The press was enthusiastic about the new forum for art, culture, and sports in the heart of Berlin. And the opening exhibition, “The World on Paper,” also met with a very positive response.
“The new building is already the talk of the town,” wrote the city magazine tip after the opening of PalaisPopulaire. “It will certainly be a new audience magnet,” asserted Abendschau. “It fits very well with Berlin,” said a visitor in a report by the German capital’s most important TV news magazine. And Kito Nedo stated in Art: “Deutsche Bank’s new art venue has opened in a historic setting.” “The new location is quintessentially Berlin,” wrote Sebastian Frenzel in Monopol, alluding to the eventful history of the building. The former residence of Prussian princesses was destroyed to such an extent in World War II that it was torn town and rebuilt in the early 1960s. With a historic façade and interiors in the East German modernist style, it housed the Opera Café, which continued to exist after German unification. “We found its history appealing, it’s a very interesting building: it has the whole history of Berlin in it,” said Svenja von Reichenbach, the director of PalaisPopulaire, in an interview with an Exberliner. And in an interview with Monopol she added that “the interior construction lays bare the historical ruptures. (…) The multifaceted building gives our concept additional tension.”  

In Kunstzeitung, Karlheinz Schmid presents the project and its initiator Thorsten Strauß. As the Deutsche Bank’s Global Head Art, Culture & Sports, Strauß heads the unit that since 2016 has bundled the bank’s artistic, cultural, and sports activities. “The name PalaisPopulaire is programmatic, says Strauß. And you believe him immediately when he says that he and his team have conquered new communications terrain in this building, wonderfully renovated by Wilfried Kuehn, as a cross between a research laboratory and a glamorous event venue.” An extensive interview with Josephine Ackerman and Svenja von Reichenbach appeared in Süddeutsche Zeitung. In it Ackerman, the deputy director of Art, Culture & Sports, explains the concept of the PalaisPopulaire. “We want to be popular in the sense of open to everyone, in demand, artistically and socially relevant. But we don’t want to be popular in the sense of simple and trivial in terms of the orientation of the content. We want to reach people but our program has to be challenging.”   

In the future, Unter den Linden 5 will be one of “the city’s best and most representative addresses,” declared Gabriele Walde in Berliner Morgenpost. “The bank,” wrote Nicola Kuhn in Tagesspiegel, “has moved even further into the cultural center, in close proximity to the opera house, the German Historical Museum, Humboldt University, Schinkel Pavilion, and the future Humboldt Forum.” The art journalist also found the architecture impressive. “On the outside, the cream-white building faces Oberwallstraße in the most splendid rococo manner, perfectly refurbished with rocailles and superimposed pilasters. But when you enter the interior, redesigned by Kuehn Malvezzi, the contrast couldn’t be greater. The older architecture was swept away (…) The architectural office, which is much sought after for museum renovation, brought out the reinforced concrete skeleton of the postwar building and deployed it as the strongest design element.”

“Its chintzy 1990s décor has undergone a sleek, minimalist redesign,” wrote Art Newspaper. In LUFTHANSA EXCLUSIVE, a comprehensive portrait of Kuehn Malvezzi appeared on the occasion of the opening. “Architectural beauty can be found in the details,” averred Sophie Jung in Lufthansa’s frequent fliers magazine. “This is demonstrated by Deutsche Bank’s new cultural forum.” Cora Knoblauch from Radio1 sums up her impressions as follows: “Now the art of Deutsche Bank can finally be presented in a more grandiose and glamorous way—in the former Prinzessinnenpalais right next to the State Opera.”

“The core concept of the building includes continuous digitalization,” states Sebastian Blottner in Berliner Morgenpost. “The building is ideal for contemporary exhibitions.” In Berliner Zeitung Petra Kohse raves about “the idea of an integrated cultural offer” and informs us that “the educational offers are booked out for months.” In addition to the British magazine Apollo, Artribune also reported on the PalaisPopulaire. In the Italian magazine Mariacristina Ferraioli emphasizes the cooperation with partners such as London’s Tate Modern, the Berliner Philharmoniker, and MAXXI in Rome. The latter is currently showing an exhibition of Caline Aoun, Deutsche Bank’s “Artist of the Year” 2018-19, which subsequently will be on view at the PalaisPopulaire.

The critics were also very impressed by The World on Paper exhibition. In Handelsblatt Johannes Wendland remarks: “For the opening Deutsche Bank curator Friedhelm Hütte was able to pull out all the stops. (…) The results of the bank’s impressive and knowledgeable collecting activities are on display side by side. (…) The principle is global. Alongside heroes of Eurocentric historiography, artists from South Africa, India, Latin America, and Southeast Asia are represented.” “The works travelled from all over the world and have never been exhibited in such abundance thus far,” wrote Angela Hohmann in Berliner Morgenpost. “They show the whole fascinating spectrum of the medium paper.” Kunstzeitung also praised the “confident opening show.” “It is a world-class feat to stage an exhibition of primarily small-scale works so confidently.” “To say that the inaugural exhibition of Deutsche Bank’s new arts, culture and sports space at the fittingly titled PalaisPopulaire is something of a showstopper is to put it mildly,” reports LUX. For the English-language online magazine the interesting thing about The World on Paper is that it is “not a ‘safe’ show.” The exhibition does not rely on a long list of big names, but takes risks—for example with works by the Iranian artist Parastou Forouhar.

“There is a sequence of works by Josef Albers, Bridget Riley, Hermann Glöckner, and Blinky Palermo that brings you to your knees,” enthuses Nicola Kuhn in Tagesspiegel in her article about the opening. In her text about the Berlin Art Week she talks about the house again: “The attraction that major venues have is apparent from ‘PalaisPopulaire,’ which the Prinzessinnenpalais on Unter den Linden is now called. After being closed for years, it has reopened its doors in time for Berlin Art Week. From now on, the tenant Deutsche Bank will show its magnificent collection. (…) The city has regained a place that henceforth will be devoted to art. It can’t get any better than that.”