AkzoNobel has collected and exhibited contemporary art since 1996 by internationally renowned artists and young talent. Since 2016 the AkzoNobel Art Foundation created a dynamic open Art Space.
The AkzoNobel Art Collection is intended to serve as a source for innovation and creative reflection, and as an expression of AkzoNobel’s corporate, cultural and social responsibility. The AkzoNobel Art Foundation aims to create a stimulating work environment with its art collection.
The primary task of the Art Foundation is to maintain and preserve our cultural heritage for future generations. Art reflects who we are – as a society, as individuals and as a company.
The AkzoNobel Art Foundation was founded in 1996 at the request of the then Chairman of the Board, Mr Kees J.A. van Lede and Hester Alberdingk Thijm was appointed director. The Art Foundation was set up as an independent non-profit foundation with board members from top levels of AkzoNobel and other corporates and influential representatives from the cultural sector.
The Art Foundation was tasked with laying the foundations for the collection and drawing up a policy for art and acquisitions. This process started with extensive research within AkzoNobel as a company and its factories and within the cultural field.
Soon the idea to collect art got its own motivation: being a good citizen in a multicultural society. Artists reflect on society; the pioneering spirit of artists makes art and culture trailblazers for innovation in the company.
Since 2016, the AkzoNobel Art Foundation has had an open Art Space where artworks from the collection are accessible to everyone.
The AkzoNobel Art Collection contains contemporary artworks from different disciplines by emerged artists and young talent. The collection has been built up based on themes such as ‘Color and Research’, ‘Individual and Society’ and ‘Space’.
Although these themes are not absolutes – each work is unique and autonomous – the AkzoNobel Art Foundation makes use of these themes to order its collection. This results in a collection in which the artworks connect with each other and with their surroundings.
Kicking off its jubilee year, the AkzoNobel Art Foundation’s WE ARE THE COLLECTION is a bounteous magazine casting the corporate collection in an entirely new light. She turns her gaze outwards and asks herself: who and what makes a collection?
Artists, curators, photographers, art critics, writers and members of the board such as Thierry Vanlancker, Anna Tilroe, Dirk van Weelden, Niña Weijers, Imara Limon, Steven Aalders, Lex ter Braak, Otobong Nkanga, Isaac Julien and many others reflect on the power a collection holds and the themes she’s inextricably bound up with – beauty, zeitgeist, inclusivity, and the importance of art in our work and our lives. The WE in WE ARE THE COLLECTION can be heard sounding throughout in its varied tones.
The catalog, in the guise of a colorful magazine, offers the AkzoNobel Art Foundation the chance to take the collection to the reader. Far from being a static tome, it’s a dynamic collection you can take hold of and open to any page, like a wieldy exhibition.
WE ARE THE COLLECTION is accessible without shying away from complex and current issues. Art of any worth is always multi-layered art. Longer essays take turns with short stories, columns, interviews, themed sections, and spreads created especially for this magazine by artists in the collection.