What comes to mind when you think of Switzerland? Snowy slopes, picturesque lakes, sophisticated ski resorts, the Alps… How about contemporary art? While this might not be the one thing that distinguishes Switzerland, the art scene in this country is as diverse as its natural landscape. Let's take a look at what Basel, Geneva and Zurich have to offer.
This contemporary art gallery champions artists from Austria to Poland, from the Czech Republic to Slovenia and from Ghana to New York and is exhibiting works by Walter Swennen until 29 June. The Belgian artist is known for his paintings of 'strangely constructed things' as author Rudi H. Fuchs describes them, adding that 'confusion plays a productive part' in his works. Take a closer look at the vibrant colours and almost child-like drawings, and you will find many familiar shapes that appear in surprising ways. Expect the unexpected.
Rosentalstrasse 28, 4058 Basel, Tel. +41 61 6833 265
Von Bartha Garage
Hidden behind a fake fuel station setup is the Von Bartha Garage, a car repair shop turned art gallery. The white expanse inside this gallery allows for endless possibilities, providing a space that can host up to five exhibitions a year. This is where you can admire works by Daniel Robert Hunziker from 1 June to 20 July. This Swiss talent interprets space with a unique, architectural approach, staging multi-faceted constructions that challenge the way you perceive scales and structures. You simply have to come see his larger-than-life installations for yourself.
Von Bartha Garage
Kannenfeldplatz 6, 4056 Basel
Tel. +41 61 3221 000
Jonathan Lahyani Fine Art
At JL Fine Art, you can admire works from as diverse artists as Ron Arad, Bernard Venet and Fernand Léger, to Paul Gauguin, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Signac and Pablo Picasso. Besides the Impressionists and modern masters, the gallery also showcases contemporary works by young artists. Its location in Geneva Freeport is not unlike a duty free business in an international airport, allowing for postponement of VAT and customs for an unlimited period of time. Remember that JL Fine Art is open by appointment only, so please contact them before you visit.
Geneva Freeport, Route du Grand-Lancy 6A, Tel. +41 44 2804 545
Barbarian Art Gallery
Barbarian Art Gallery is a sophisticated space that spotlights masters from the post-Soviet period. With a location in Moscow as well, Barbarian serves as a bridge between East and West, and it has worked with important institutions such as the Hermitage and the Cabaret Voltaire. Now, you can see works by Marc Vincent Kalinka, an Italo-Russian artist who used to be a music and theatre professional. His works include digital prints, videos, audio-light installations and much more. Starting in June, the famous photographer Tim Parchikov will be showing his unforgettable images.
Limmatstrasse 275, 8005 Zurich, Tel. +41 44 2804 545, +41 44 2804 548
The most avant-garde amongst our picks of art galleries has to be Starkart, but this is not just another street art gallery. It advocates urban and net art movements, where artworks can appear anywhere in the cities and on the Internet. Don't miss Ludo who he is an up-and-coming Parisian artist who interprets natural motifs in hair-raising styles: armed insects and green flowers seem to leap from his canvases. His thought-provoking installations will make you look at urban street art in a new way.
Brauerstrasse 126, 8004 Zurich, Tel. +41 78 7616 927
Galerie Mark Müller
Galerie Mark Müller is the place to go in Zurich if you love contemporary paintings. The gallery specializes in exactly this, establishing long-term relationships with its artists while nurturing new talents. Until 1 June, you can see Urs FreiÊ¼s splashes of technicolour and Hans StalderÊ¼s dreamlike blossoms. From 8 June to 20 July, the famed American artist Joseph Marioni will once again showcase his hynotizing canvases at Galerie Mark Müller, a place his works have called home since 1991.
Hafnerstrasse 44, 8005 Zurich, Tel. +41 44 2118 155