Thematic exhibitions are regularly organised at the EIB’s headquarters, providing staff and visitors the opportunity to encounter the artworks in a new light and strengthen the dialogue between the collection and its audiences.

In recent years, 11 exhibitions have been held at the EIB: Elles@EIB (2011), Portraiture (2012), Landscape(s) (2013), La terre est bleue comme une orange (2014), Young Talent at the EIB (2016 and 2018) and many exhibitions showcasing new acquisitions.

In 2020, an internal exhibition on gender and feminism in the EIB art collection coincided with International Women’s Day. Ranging in subject from nudity to ecofeminism, the exhibition confronted some of the most controversial issues of the day.

In 2021, Awakening engaged actively with conversations about race and inequality that came to the forefront in 2020. It featured new acquisitions by Black European artists or Black artists working in Europe who were confronting the question of racism in many different ways.

The EIB collection’s most recent internal exhibition, Unearthing (2021), showcases Middle Eastern and North African artists living and working in Europe, or European artists of relevant heritage, in order to redresses some under-representation in the art collection. The artists on shows were chosen because of their collective engagement with the theme of “unearthing” and the exploration of the question of destruction and renewal. The exhibition reflects on the fact that the unearthing of ruins, whether literal or metaphorical, is not a destructive process. Rather, it is a creative and generative act that moves history forwards. In an age of ecological crisis, Unearthing reminds us that art and culture, like humans, is sustained by the soil on which it stands.