Art and the group

The Vienna Insurance Group’s commitment to art

Barbara Grötschnig / photo: Christian Wind

The Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) has a wide range of cultural agendas and demonstrates how natural and varied dealing with art can be.

The VIG’s headquarters in the Ringturm office tower is home to two art collections. Employees can borrow works from these collections for their own offices. “Art should be a permanent part of a stimulating work environment. It has become an important reason for our employees to identify with our company,” says Barbara Grötschnig, the Group’s art commissioner. The two art collections come together in the stairway. The collection of Wiener Städtische Versicherung is growing steadily and includes works by recent and emerging Austrian artists. Numbering several thousand objects, this collection focuses on the second half of the 20th century. In the vertical display of the stairway, it faces the still new collection of the Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein, the VIG’s main shareholder. This collection grew from a key project, the wrapping of the Ringturm, during which the first works were purchased. Instead of aiming to demonstrate a central core, this arrangement by curator Philippe Batka tries to identify different concentrations of content that exist side by side. “Many of the artworks defy any clear categorization. Their ambiguity and movement emerge when they are placed in context,” says Batka, who has put abstract paintings as well as conceptual works of contemporary art on show.

“The artworks inside the office tower are viewed predominantly by our employees. But one of our initiatives is highly visible to the outside world and has acquired international fame: the wrapping of the Ringturm,” says Barbara Grötschnig. This showcase project was launched in 2006 and presents art on a surface of 4,000 square meters. Five of the ten wrappings created so far were made by artists from countries in the CEE region where VIG does business. Grötschnig is excited about the work on show this year. It was created by Mihael Milunović from Serbia, who has replaced the Ringturm with a mountain. To the artist, this motif expresses longing, but it also functions as a surface onto which individual goals and principles can be projected. “People love the image,” says Barbara Grötschnig, while keeping an eye on reactions in the media and social networks as she does every year.


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