A leading collection
Rabobank has been dedicated to developing a leading collection of art since 1995. This is done in close cooperation with artists. Together we select key works that mark a change in their oeuvre. Pieces that do not just tell the artist's story, but also reflect a period in art history.
More than images
With this as our basic philosophy, we are building a leading collection of contemporary art. The selected artists are considered the driving forces and catalysts of their era. While the emphasis is on Dutch artists, the collection also includes works from international artists to reflect Rabobank’s international scope.
Three storylines are omnipresent in the Rabo Art Collection:
- People. Art that is close to us and personal, such as the works by Inez van Lamsweerde.
- Society. Art that reflects on public engagement and touches society, such as the portraits by Rineke Dijkstra.
- Ideas. Art that is conceptual, cutting edge and visionary, such as the works by Jan Schoonhoven.
The Rabo Art Collection in perspective
The Rabo Art Collection offers a rich look at over sixty-five years of Dutch art. Major works from every phase of the post-war period can be found in the collection. The emphasis lies on art of the past twenty-five years. Since the turn of the century, the collection has also included a number of major international names.
Just like the world to which it belongs, the art has gone through major and rapid changes over the years after the Second World War. Each successive generation stands before a whole new series of questions and challenges. The four phases around which the collection is constructed represent these generations.
- 1945 - 1960: Free expression
In the years immediately following the war, the theme that reigned above all others was freedom. All forms of authority were questioned and the dividing line between right and wrong was drawn hard and fast. The definitive breakthrough of modernism came paired with an art that revered the spontaneous gesture and the free flow of feelings. In the Netherlands, it were the artists of the COBRA movement who set the tone.
- 1960 - 1975: Imagination rules
While immediately after the war the focus was on the individual, the generation of the 1960s focused its attention on the world. Everything was going to be different and the modern culture of mass consumption freed itself from the last vestiges of the old order. Pop Art, minimalism and conceptual art paved the way for an exploration of a radical new consciousness.
- 1975 - 1990: Beyond modernism
After a flowering of progressive thinking and idealism, the inevitable disillusionment followed in the 1970s. Consumerism and neoliberalism ushered in a whole new politic and social climate. Postmodern art distanced itself from progressive ideals in favour of exploring a complex and layered reality.
- 1990 - present: The art of today
From the fall of the Iron Curtain to the rise of the internet, the early 1990s were a period racked by new waves of fundamental social change. As cultures flowed together, art developed a wide variety of forms and themes.
In a world in crisis and confusion, many artists began exploring a direct, intuitive experience of existence and turned to natural, traditional means to create a mature artistic world.