The Bergé Collection was begun in the 1980s with a clear focus on international contemporary art. Driven by the firm’s traditional enterprising spirit and interest in everything that goes on in the world, Bergé decided to set its sights on the future and make a firm commitment to broadening the company’s horizons beyond our borders. In this context, a contemporary art collection was formed in order to preserve evidence of what is happening around us today for future generations.
Contemporary art faithfully mirrors our social reality, and contemporary artists are documentalists and collectors of the most pressing concerns of our times. The themes of their works invite us to reflect on social, political, environmental, philosophical or aesthetic concepts. For this family business group founded in the second half of the 19th century, collecting international contemporary art is just another of the many adventures on which Bergé y cía. has embarked over the years, as evidenced by its expansion from port operations to environmental clean-up and tugboat services, transport, automotive distribution, new technologies and wine culture.
The collection consists of approximately 120 works in a variety of media: paintings, works on paper, sculptures, photographs, videos and installations. Its holdings include works by consolidated artists (Bruce Nauman, Gerhard Richter, Carl André, Allan McCollum, John Baldessari, Edward Ruscha, Jonathan Borofsky, Cristina Iglesias, Jannis Kounellis, Juan Muñoz, Susana Solano, etc.) that were acquired thirty years ago and form the backbone of the collection, as well as pieces that entered the collection at an early point in the careers of their creators, who have since risen to prominence in the art world (such as Dora García, Martin Creed, Lara Almárcegui, Ángela de la Cruz, Ghada Amer, Céline van Balen, Pierre Huyghe, David Shrigley and Erwin Wurm).
In 2008 the Bergé Collection received the ARCO Corporate Collecting Prize. In 2011 Bergé was invited to join the IACCCA (International Association of Corporate Collections of Contemporary Art), whose members represent more than forty of the most important corporations in the world, and since 2014 it also sits on the association’s board of directors. In 2015, the Bergé Collection was included in a book devoted to the 100 best corporate collections in the world.
In recent years the Bergé Collection has lent many works for exhibitions at prestigious cultural institutions and museums in Spain and abroad, including Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Bolsa de Madrid, Sala Comunidad de Madrid-Alcalá 31, ARCO, Fundaçao Caoluste Gulbekian (Lisbon), Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro (Milan), Milton Keynes Gallery (London) and The Fruitmarket Gallery (Edinburgh).
The collection is currently divided among three different venues, where the artworks enhance the workplace and inspire employees on a daily basis, reminding them of the Bergé spirit and the group’s passion and enthusiasm for contemporary art.