The Promise of Photography: Selections from the DG BANK Collection

September 12–October 24, 1999

This fall P.S.1 offers New York audiences an opportunity to view works from the outstanding DG BANK Collection—a collection housed in DG BANK’s head office in Frankfurt, Germany and one of the foremost collections of contemporary photography in the world. P.S.1 Curator and Kunst-Werke Director Klaus Biesenbach and P.S.1’s Executive Director Alanna Heiss have selected some 300 photographs from this extensive collection. The selection includes works by Dennis Adams, Stephen Shore, Graciela Iturbide, William Eggleston, Dan Graham, Bill Henson, Candida Höfer, Gabriel Orozco, Gerhard Richter, John Miller, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Andy Warhol, to name a few. Filling P.S.1’s first floor main galleries, the lobby and the spacious duplex gallery, this exhibition is on view through October 24.

The DG BANK collection, consisting of over 3,000 photographs, addresses notions of artistic approach through the unique curatorial strategy of purchasing works in what might be termed a “call and response” fashion. Each work is purchased in relation to a previously acquired photograph. This method has enabled the collection to trace the medium of photography from its origins as a tool for documentation to its present interrelationships with other contemporary art forms. This approach has created a collection that remains continually responsive to current concerns in contemporary art and culture.

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center brings its own unique vision to the collection by selecting works that characterize its art historical moment and that represent the plurality of directions taken by photographers working today. With this selection, the viewer is offered an opportunity to confront these directions which range from the painterly, as seen in Bill Henson’s haunting portraits, to the Craigie Horsefield's film noir style imagery, and to the conceptual work of sculptor/photographer Dan Graham.


The Promise of Photography: Selections from the DG BANK Collection is held under the auspices of the Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in New York, Dr. Cornel Metternich.