Slovenian banking group NLB will start a new art collection called SEE ART to showcase contemporary artists from the region. The bank plans to invest €100,000 annually to acquire works of art.
The bank already keeps an art collection, having purchased and collected around 2,000 works in the past. It now wants to resume purchases of art.
They want to “support mainly contemporary artists from the region in which NLB Group is present,” NLB chairman Blaž Brodnjak said on 25 January. He made a special mention of Croatia, where the bank is not present.
The new collection will be exhibited at a new gallery at Bankarium, the Slovenian Banking Museum, at NLB’s premises in Čopova Street in Ljubljana. Works from the bank’s existing collection are also on display there.
The SEE ART gallery will open in the autumn 2024. It will be designed by Scapelab, an architectural firm responsible for the renovation of Cukrarna, Ljubljana’s new arts venue.
By purchasing and showcasing works of art NLB would like to become a major supporter and partner of artists in Southeast Europe, curator Meta Kordiš said.
The project will be overseen by an international arts council comprising Slovenian curator Tevž Logar as the chairman, and curators Mira Gakjina from Skopje and Maja Kolarić from Belgrade as members.
Gakjina said of the name SEE ART defined the collection’s geographical framework, but could also be interpreted in a broader sense.
The collection will include works by artists from the whole region, across all generations and media, from paintings to sculptures, video, installations, performances to digital media and new technologies.
To select the works, different methods will be applied, from open calls, to competitions and awards to exhibitions, Serbian curator Kolarič said.
Logar said the project would serve as a platform for education and improvement of production conditions for artists in dialogue with research, publishing, residencies and institutional cooperation.