Zurich is packed with art galleries displaying the finest in Swiss art. Many are housed in the Löwenbräu Areal, a former brewery that has been redesigned as a cultural and artistic centre. With more than 100 galleries and art museums to choose from, narrowing down your selections to visit can be difficult, but there are some galleries that consistently display highly prized works.
Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst
creativecommons.org/Mark B. Schlemmer
The Migros Museum of Contemporary Art is located in the Löwenbräu reformed brewery and features a large collection of minimalist art alongside modern works by Swiss and German artists. Using its space as both a museum and a contemporary art gallery, Migros holds four or five exhibitions each year that focus on art created no earlier than the 1960s.
The current display features works from the collection that highlight excesses in forms and motifs. Seven artists are represented in a range of media from metal to paint on canvas. In addition to displayed art, the museum offers art education and guided tours for each exhibition.
Galerie Eva Presenhuber
In the former Maag Areal is there is a delightful art venue in an old, industrial warehouse. With years of experience in her field, the owner has a mission to present artists with far-reaching appeal, choosing conceptual and experimental pieces over those with a more commercial bent.
The gallery regularly features Valentin Carron, a mixed-media artist who represented Swiss art in 2013 at the Venice Biennale. Artists from New York and other major cities are also presented on a regular basis and the art of Michael Williams is currently on display. The gallery operates out of both the new urban development zone and the Löwenbräu Areal.
The presentation there is a mix of established and upcoming artists with a rotating display of art. The constant flux of talent contributes to the dynamic feel of the space, promoting experimentation and compelling artworks. Normally five major exhibitions are held with three or more shows that rotate throughout the year.
Exhibits may be of an individual artist or a group who has impacted the art world through their work. Displays include audio, film, canvas and many other types of media. Works of the Slavs and Tatars art collective are frequently on display, exploring the intertwining of socio-politics, language and time.
The gallery holds a large collection of art from the Middle Ages all the way up to contemporary art. First opened in 1910, the collection includes works by Edvard Munch, Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Ferdinand Hodler and Peter Fischli. Art displayed ranges from paint and sculpture to installations, and there is an emphasis on Swiss art movements, such as Dada.
The Kunsthaus also has an extensive art library. Almost a quarter of a million volumes are free to use and can be checked out with prior arrangement.
Heidi Weber Museum – Centre Le Corbusier
The works of Swiss architect Le Corbusier are showcased here, displaying his diverse talent in painting, sculpture, design and writing. The museum is an amazing example of his work, highlighting his dedication to spatial proportion and form. The museum is located on the shores of Lake Zurich and is itself a work of art.
The gallery has three centres, one of which is located on Paradeplatz in Zurich. Their interest is in presenting museum-quality exhibitions, choosing diverse and celebrated artists such as Yves Klein, the noted nouveau realist. The gallery also has a unique position as a pioneer in Russian avant-garde and contemporary works. Gmurzynska is well established having over 150 exhibitions to date and many print catalogues.
Galerie Francesca Pia
Owner Francesca Pia has a talent for discovering emerging artists, relying on her own instincts to choose featured works. Exhibitions are of both solo and group works and feature many international artists, alongside those from Switzerland.
The current exhibit by Thomas Bayle is mesmerizing, combining his background in graphics with an eye for design. The gallery is in the former Löwenbräu Brewery, next to Kunsthalle Zurich.
The Dada art movement started here and it’s still going strong at this historic gallery that reopened in 2004. Dada began as a non-violent, artistic protest against “the madness of times”, instead promoting a world of innovation. The permanent exhibit “Dada in Nuce” (Dada in a Nutshell) tells the history of Dada and the artists who embraced it through film and interviews.
Hauser & Wirth
The gallery showcases art from around the world at its spaces in New York, London and Zurich. The Swiss program displays an impressive 10 exhibitions a year, all of museum quality.
One of the current exhibits is a comprehensive overview of the tapestry works of Bourgeois from 1996 to 2008, many on loan from private collections. Recent exhibitions have included a video and sound installation by Yi, a prominent Peruvian artist, and the sculptures of German artist Eder.
Galerie Mark Müller
The gallery has a nearly 25 year history of presenting local and international artists in a wide range of styles and media. An upcoming exhibit will feature Katharina Grosse whose use of colour on an array of surfaces such as canvas, abandoned buildings and living plants has made her name as a premier contemporary artist.
In addition to established artists, the gallery supports incoming artists, offering them both solo and group displays.
Mai 36 Galerie
Conceptual and pop art are regular features at this gallery. The gallery prefers to focus on artists whose works or themes go back as far as the 60s. The space is excellent for not only photography and canvas, but also sculpture, video and installations.
Exhibits are often thematic, building displays around complex concepts such as communication and discerning the value of art. The gallery shows a mixture of established artists and those that are virtually unknown, hoping to uncover the next sensation.
Galerie Peter Kilchmann
Also in the Löwenbräu, the gallery has maintained a 20 year history of excellent art with a frequently rotating series of artists. Many exhibitions are as short as five days, ensuring a novel experience with almost every visit.
Upcoming is an exhibition by Brazilian artist Erika Verzutti displaying her new series of sculptures created from bronze, concrete, wax, papier mâché and paint.
In addition to rotating exhibits, the gallery displays long-term installations and shows works at art fairs.
Galerie Bob Van Orsouw
Originally started in a private apartment, the gallery is now housed in the art-centric Löwenbräu. The upcoming exhibit will feature large-scale ceramic works by Danish artist Cristian Andersen, whose work is often described as idiosyncratic and irreverent.
The gallery shows a mixture of established and unknown artists with a range of media, focusing on Swiss contemporary art.