Art at Bayer
Bayer has been committed to the visual arts for more than 100 years. Today, the company owns an extensive assortment of paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures from the 20th and 21st centuries.
The collection was started by Dr. Carl Duisberg, the company’s first Chairman of the Board of Management. He felt it was important to introduce visual arts into the world of work. As early as 1912, he had a collection of “colorful lithographs” put together to decorate work and break rooms at the Leverkusen plant. The idea of “Art in the workplace” was born!
Art of the 20th centuries
The company currently owns a total of approximately 5,500 works, 2,000 of which are paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures by renowned artists from 20th and 21st centuries that make up the Bayer Collection. The Collection includes works by internationally recognized painters, media artists and sculptors such as Max Beckmann, Ernst Barlach, Pablo Picasso, Ernst-Wilhelm Nay, Henry Moore, Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, Albert Oehlen and Martin Kippenberger, Ulrike Rosenbach, Julian Opie and Johanna Reich as well as pieces that were either commissioned by the company or are important to its history.
In the late 1970s and 1980s, Bayer started awarding grants to artists who work with Bayer materials and funded an “Artist in residence” program. The “Visiting art schools” series of exhibitions was launched in the 2000s to give talented young students an opportunity to exhibit their work.
The art owned by Bayer is in evidence throughout the company’s rooms and is a key part of the working environment. What’s more, the temporary public exhibitions staged by Bayer Arts & Culture to show off works by young artists also provide a constant source of fresh inspiration.
The Bayer Artothek – bringing the collection to the office
The visual arts are an integral part of the corporate culture at Bayer. The Group very deliberately utilizes its collection for the benefit of its staff, facilitating natural encounters between people and art within the context of the working environment. While the Bayer Collection is present and visible in high-profile rooms and areas, other works owned by the company belong to the Bayer Artothek, where they are made available to all staff for use in their offices, corridors and conference rooms.
The principle of “Art in the workplace” is truly being brought to life and shared with a wide audience of employees, customers and visitors at Bayer AG – people with wide-ranging interests from a variety of cultures. Unlike conventional art exhibitions, this concept brings art to the people, heightens perception and makes a positive contribution to the atmosphere at the workplace.
Key Visual: Johanna Reich, Virgins Land, 2019, 4K Video | Loop, Ed. 1/7 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023