ARTS & COLLECTIBLES

FEAST FOR THE EYES

Key art and architecture experience you should not miss in Switzerland.

CAROLE KING

Switzerland

 

When it comes to art Switzerland may be best know for its world-famous Art Basel fair - but the country has so much more to offer. From excellent museums to eye-catching contemporary architecture. Here is where you should get your art fix.

Learn About Prolific Artist

In Bern, the Zentrum Paul Klee – a glass-and-steel building with a distinctive wave – like silhouette – is dedicated to the eponymous Swiss-German artist. Here you’ll find over 4,000 paintings that showcase Klee’s unique artistic style, influenced by movements such as Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism.

Over in Basel, the Museum Tinguely houses the works of Jean Tinguely, a prominent 20th-century sculptor. Tinguely was riveted by machines – especially the way they move and sound – and this fascination is reflected in his kinetic sculptures, which he dubbed “metamechanics”. These are supplemented by illustrations, photographs, and other artefacts that together offer an illuminating insight into eh sculpture’s like and work.

Delve Into The World Of Photography

Shutterbugs should make a beeline for the Musee de l’Elysee in Lausanne, which is one of Europe’s top photography museums. Besides admiring the works of famed Swiss snapper such as Rene Burri and Ella Maillart, you can learn more about photography’s history – from the 19th century daguerreotype process to modern-day digital image processing. Do note that the museum is relocating to the Platforme 10 arts district in Lausanne and is slated to reopen its doors in 2022.

The Center of Photography in Winterthur, jointly run by the Fotostiftung Schweiz and the Fotomeseum Winterthur, offers a comprehensive overview of photography – both Swiss and international, historical, and contemporary. On show are individual works by top photographers, as well as themed group exhibitions.

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Marvel At Contemporary Architecture

Switzerland is home to a plethora of big-name architects: Le Corbusier, Mario Botta, Jacques Herzog, and Pierre de Meuron, to name a few. Le Corbusier is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of modern architecture. This genius is evident in the elegant Maison Blanche in le Chaux – de – Fonds, which he built in 1912 for his parents, and the colorful Pavilion Le Corbusier in Zurich, which was constructed in the 1960’s for Swiss interior designer Heidi Weber.

Spot The Smurfs Home

While you won’t see any blue-skinned creatures running around, this whimsical housing complex pays homage to the eponymous comic franchise in other ways. The buildings’ curved walls and bold facades are inspired by the colorful mushroom houses in which the Smurfs live – and they sure make or a great photo!

Admire Publish Art

Some of Switzerland’s best works of art are not behind closed doors but out on the streets. Basel has a thriving urban art scene, which I best explored on a walking tour. Arstübli is a gallery that conducts street art tours on request these include Basel Line Tour, which will take you along a railway line adorned with graffiti by renowned artist such as Smash137 and Sweet.

In Zurich, be sure to check out the iconic Guardian Angel sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle, which presides over the main hall of the central train station. The angel in questions – a voluptuous 11mtall figure decked out in golden wings – stands for self-confidence and liberation.

Other notable works of public art include the Meret Oppenheim Tower Fountain in Be, a soaring concrete column carpeted in moss and wild grass in the summer and frozen over with icicles in the winter. Then there’s Geneva – which, as its name suggest, is an enormous 5.5 – ton wooden sculpture of a chair with a broken leg. The brainchild of the carpenter Louis Genéve is intended to remind visiting politicians of the plight of landmine victims worldwide.