The first album of the MNB Arts and Culture collection has been published

The volume is titled „Zoom – 100 works from the collection” and includes short introductions of the artist in addition to reproductions.

From time to time, prestigious international banks publish exclusive selections presenting their art collections. These representative albums are unique pieces, containing the essence of the collection. The collection managed by the Central Bank of Hungary has now reached the joyous occasion of the completion of the first album, which showcases the “crème de la crème” of the art collection, the hundred finest works by thirty-three artists.

In addition to the reproductions, this exceptional album also includes some extra detailed photographs made with a rare technique that give a close-up view of the surface of the paintings, the materiality of the painting, the artists’ brushwork or the way the elements of the sculptures fit together. In this way, the publication evokes the artworks, so that the artistic exploration can be experienced while turning the pages.

The MNB considers to the tasks of social responsibility paramount, including the preservation of values and the promotion of art. As György Matolcsy, Govenor of the Central Bank of Hungary, voiced it in the foreword of the publication:

“The promotion of art and the preservation and conservation of artistic values are among high priority public matters. It is no coincidence that from the very beginning, the social responsibility programmes of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) have given a prominent place – with ground-breaking results – to responsible value preservation activities that span several artistic disciplines. One important area of this is the visual arts, where our recent focus with the mission of creating and conserving values has been on contemporary works of art from Hungary. We have built and are building a collection that contains the treasures of the present – also addressing the future –, contemporary Hungarian works that are already world-famous or are at least worthy of world fame.”

The artworks of a high-quality corporate collection by definition convey a set of values and shape the identity of the community. The building of the Central Bank’s collection not only creates an unparalleled working environment for the Bank’s staff, but also enhances the reputation, and shows the cultural presence and the specifics of the contemporary art of our wider community, the nation, to the world.

The editor of the book was Gábor Rieder, art historian, who was also involved in the building of the collection. The “zoom concept” originated with him, which plays a prominent role in the visual world of the album also. On the one hand, it refers to the selection’s approach of narrowing it down to a hundred selected artworks, and on the other hand to the “macro photographs”, which allow the small, exquisite details to be seen and brought into focus.

In compiling the publication, the curators associated with the collection – Katalin Keserü, Julia Fabényi, Kinga Hamvai, Zsolt Petrányi, Gábor Rieder and Katalin Spengler – selected 33 artists from three categories: masters, mid-generation and emerging artists.

The graphic design and the editing of the album was the work of Adrien Császár, Nora Kaszanyi and de_form. The publication reflects the graphic design agency’s own credo of combining a unique design with a sophisticated visual concept, giving the catalogue of the works created by a wide range of artists a coherent and modern image. The detailed photos were taken by Dávid Biró.

The publication was produced by the MNB Arts and Culture, the division of the Central Bank of Hungary (Magyar Nemzeti Bank) responsible for the management of its contemporary art collection.