The #3 Museum Exhibitions you must see in Switzerland this Summer

Photo: © Studio Tomás Saraceno

Summer — Undoubtedly the best season of the year. At least for a Sicilian like me 🙂

But summer is also the season of planning holidays, visiting relatives, long trips abroad and chilling on exotic beaches. Therefore, if you like to plan, you should definitely find some space in your agenda for at least 2 of the following 3 exhibitions, for they are EPIC!

Ready to take note? Almost? Still thinking if you should see your newly-born-second-grade-cousin or Tomás Saraceno spiders? I tell you what: all 3 shows are running at least until mid-August, so… no excuses!

These are the top 3 exhibitions you should definitely see this summer around the nation. Because Switzerland might be small, but its art events are HUGE!

#1  Tomás Saraceno at Museum Haus Konstruktiv

JUNE 1 – SEPTEMBER 3, 2017

Tomás Saraceno, Arachno Concert, with Arachne (Nephila senegalensis), Cosmic Dust (Porus Chondrite) and the Breathing Ensemble, 2016
Photo: © Studio Tomás Saraceno
Saraceno’s installation ‘On Space Time Foam’ at the HangarBiccoca in Milan, Italy, in 2012.
Photo: © Studio Tomás Saraceno

Born in Argentina and trained as an architect, Tomas Saraceno incorporates physics, engineering, and aeronautics into his interactive artistic structures. Using the study of spiders (aka arachnology) to create structures that suggest alternative ways of living, he employs tridimensional webs to grasp more in depth how unique building blocks create distinct forms. Saraceno places spiders (they’re not of venomous type, in case you were wondering!) in cubic frames and leaves them to spin webs, rotating the cubes at various intervals to introduce elements of freedom. Some of these spider-works will be part of the extraordinary first solo show Aerosolar Journeys at Museum Haus Kontruktiv in Zurich. Alongside the spider-based installations, part of the exhibition is dedicated to Saraceno’s latest works and experiments from his project “Aerocene”, the era of air. Various floating sculptures are on display: enormous air-filled sculptures that float upwards, relying on nothing more than solar radiation and the infrared radiation from the Earth’s surface, as well as web structures that are as spectacular as they are delicate.

Tomás Saraceno sees his multidisciplinary work as artistic research, in which he pursues the notion of a “realisable utopia”. Inspired by physical and biological phenomena, such as the thermodynamics of the atmosphere or the structures of spider webs, he works together with relevant experts, including biologists, engineers and architects, developing sensational works.

This is going to be a true sensation and you only need to google Saraceno’s work to realise that you don’t want to miss this — for nothing. Curator Sabine Schaschl slays!

Vernissage: 31 May, 6 pm

Selnaustrasse 25
CH-8001 Zurich
Phone +41 44 217 70 80

Opening Hours
Tuesday, Thursday to Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
and Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Adults CHF 16
Students & Senoirs  CHF 12


#2  Wolfgang Tillmans at Fondation Beyeler

Until OCTOBER 1, 2017

Courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne, Maureen Paley, London, David Zwirner, New York

2017 seems to be Wolfgang Tillmans’s year. With an ongoing  first ever exhibition at Tate Modern in London (until June 11, 2017) and a future solo show at Kunstverein Hamburg (September 23 – November 12, 2017), the German artist has been giving us plenty of food for thought about what we are to make of the world in which we find ourselves today.

Courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne, Maureen Paley, London, David Zwirner, New York

This year’s big summer exhibition at Fondation Beyeler is also devoted to the Turner Prize winner (he was the first photographer and first non-British artist to receive the prestigious prize in 2000). Around 200 photographic works dating from 1989 to 2017 will be on show in Basel from May 28 to October 1, together with a new audio-visual installation. This is the first comprehensive engagement with the medium of photography at the Fondation Beyeler and the show has been designed in close cooperation with the artist.

Wolfgang Tillmans’s oeuvre is distinguished by brazen emotions and a tension between strangeness and familiarity. Using all the photographic technology at his disposal, Tillmans shoots portraits, still-lifes, and landscapes in which the subjects range from partially-nude friends in seemingly private moments to modest arrangements of domestic items on windowsills. We read from the Foundation’s press release:

“Tillmans first made a name for himself in the early 1990s through photographs that have attained iconic status for their evocation of the mood of an entire generation, with its carefree urge for freedom and its desire to seize life’s moments.”

What’s not to like? ❤

Baselstrasse 101
CH-4125 Riehen/Basel
Phone +41 61 645 97 00

Opening Hours
Open 365 days a year:
Monday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
and Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Adults CHF/EUR 28
Students/Under 30s CHF/EUR 12
You can buy tickets for the exhibitions at the museum or online in advance, to avoid queuing at the ticket office. With the SBB RailAway special offer, you can also buy a discounted entrance ticket to the museum in combination with train fare. You must bring a printed copy of your online ticket for admission. Groups of 20 or more are required to book in writing in advance even if no tour guide is needed.

#3  From Calder to Kelly: The American Collection at Kunstmuseum Winterthur

Until AUGUST 13, 2017

The main building of the Kunstmuseum Winterthur by Rittmeyer & Furrer, 1916
“From Calder to Kelly” at Kunstmuseum Winterthur (Courtesy of Kunstmuseum Winterthur)

Opened in 1916, the Kunstmuseum Winterthur accommodates one of the finest collections of modern art in Switzerland, with outstanding groups of work from the late 19th century to the present. The collection is displayed in an exceptionally fine ambience in the museum building (by Rittmeyer & Furrer, completed in 1915) and the futuristic extension opened in 1995 (by Gigon & Guyer).

While the old building is dedicated to French art from around the turn of the century (van Gogh, Monet, Bonnard and Vallotton), Cubism (Braque, Gris and Léger) and to masterpieces of classical modern art (Arp, Klee, Magritte, Mondrian), the extension building houses international contemporary art (Guston, Marden, Kelly, Richter and Merz).

It is in this new building that the exhibition From Calder to Kelly unfolds. In recent decades, the Kunstmuseum Winterthur has created a collection of new American art, which is now shown extensively throughout the entire museum. The exhibition title takes its name from Alexander Calder and Ellsworth Kelly, both American artists, whose work is marked by stays in Paris, thus creating a bridge to the French-inspired collection of the Winterthur Museum.

The occasion for this extensive exhibition is the resignation of the museum director Dieter Schwarz, who personally designed and built this collection.

The show begins with the abstract painting of the 1960s. The change that took place in New York at the time is reflected in the pictures of Philip Guston, Ellsworth Kelly, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, Robert Mangold and Robert Ryman. From there, the focus is on the various developments of the following decades, and in particular on sculpture.

Another important place within the collection is reserved for works on paper, to which the Kunstmuseum Winterthur has paid great attention in the last decades. The tradition of drawing has always been central and alive in American Art, and the sheets of Sam Francis, Myron Stout, Mark Tobey and Philip Guston, as well as those of James Bishop, Vija Celmins, Dan Flavin, Robert Mangold, and Dorothea Rockburne, are a great and sublime testimony to that. Special emphasis was placed on the drawings by sculptors, as not only David Smith, but also Richard Artschwager, John Chamberlain, Roni Horn, Fred Sandback and Joel Shapiro, who have provided original contributions to the art of drawing.

This is a classic and exhibitions like this, of this quality and calibre, should be in your iCal.

Museumstrasse 52
CH-8400 Winterthur
Phone +41 52 267 51 62

Opening Hours
Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Adults CHF 15
Students/Groups of 10+ people CHF 12

Do you have any other epic exhibition around Switzerland we should all go see? Share it with us in the below comment section 🙂

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