An Art and Gallery Tour Around the Kunsthaus Zürich
A new era is dawning at the Kunsthaus Zürich: the extension by architect David Chipperfield will turn the renowned museum into the largest art museum in Switzerland. And like a cultural magnet, the Kunsthaus attracts a wide variety of galleries and creative types, who set up shop around the museum. We pay a visit to Charlotte von Stotzingen, Director of Zurich Art Weekend.
Zurich Art Weekend
One week before Art Basel opens its doors, Zurich becomes a hotspot for the international art scene for a whole weekend at the Zurich Art Weekend. Aside from leading private and public institutions, almost all galleries and project spaces also participate to present their work to the public. The program includes artist talks, art walks, guided tours, symposiums, and panel discussions.
Dynamic Gallery City
Zurich has an extremely high density of galleries. For a long time, the trendy Zürich-West district with its industrial past was considered a hotspot of the art scene. Now more and more galleries want to be close to the Old Town and the Zurich Kunsthaus again. Several recent openings bear witness to this trend: for example, the Presenhuber Gallery, which has been operating an additional branch near the museum since the beginning of 2020. The same goes for the Zurich branch of the renowned Lévy-Gorvy with Rumbler gallery. Hauser & Wirth have also recently opened two locations on Rämistrasse — a bookshop and a showroom.
More Space for Art
The Kunsthaus Zürich houses one of the largest art collections in Switzerland. It is known for its permanent collections, as well as internationally acclaimed temporary exhibitions. In addition to works of old masters, you can admire significant paintings by Picasso, Monet, and Chagall, as well as by numerous contemporary artists such as Fischli/Weiss or Sylvie Fleury. The Kunsthaus also houses the most extensive collection of works by the renowned Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti, who is best known for his sculptures.
There is also plenty of art to admire outside the museum: since 1949, the Gates of Hell by Auguste Rodin has been a permanent fixture in front of the entrance. The eight-ton bronze sculpture depicts a vision of the afterlife, inspired by Dante's Inferno of the “Divina Commedia”. This sculpture has recently been complemented by a contemporary work that only truly reveals itself as night falls: entitled “Tastende Lichter” (Tactile Lights), the light and video installation by Swiss multimedia artist Pipilotti Rist projects colored dots of light onto the surrounding buildings and surfaces during the evening hours.
Zurich is a Dynamic City of Art and Culture
World-leading institutions such as the Kunsthaus Zürich are in dialog with a diverse gallery scene that includes not only internationally established players, but also many young and innovative galleries. The offer is rounded off by a fascinating and lively underground scene with its creative off spaces. In terms of city size, there is hardly any other European metropolis with such a density and diversity of art offerings.
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