OK here’s the question. Name me three famous Swiss Artists. Giacometti, Hodler, Félix Vallotton, ok that was easy, now name me three famous Contemporary Swiss Artists. Well, I’m waiting….So here’s the situation. If the Financial Times was doing one of its polls on the best cities in the world to live, Switzerland would come close to the top. And for the country that loves art the most in the world, the Swiss would come in number one. Everyone is mad for art and not just the ruling classes. The average man has his favorite artist at home that he is proud to show you. This love for the arts runs through the banks, the grand pharmaceutical companies, the museums, the Kunstvereins, the private foundations, and the thousands of art galleries scattered around the country. It seems every old brewery or empty building is being transformed into a building to exhibit art. And don’t forget – out of Basel has risen the greatest art fair franchise on the planet. The Basel Art Fair, now in Miami (huge success!) and Hong Kong and soon to open on Mars in the first intergalactic Art Fair (just getting carried away). So besides all the places to show works of art, in the past 15 years there has been an explosion of talent in the young Swiss Artists. Switzerland is still private in many ways, good wine from Switzerland is basically all consumed in the country and the art world, however buoyant, still is somewhat private. So I think I will give you some of the names of the Swiss Artists that you should know. Here goes…Peter Fischli, David Weiss, Roman Signer, John M Armleder, Thomas Hirschhorn, Pipilotti Rist, Ma-Thu Perret, Christoph Buchel, Silvia Bachli, Christian Marclay, Olivier Mosset, Urs Fischer, Ugo Rondinone, Franz Gertsch, Urs Luthi, and many more. These artists are out in the world, but the art scene in the country has a young artist scene that is so bubbling its ready to burst. I just bought four artists who are working in Zurich that are amazing (will write about them in another blog) because they have captured the moment in time we are living in. So it was with a heavy heart that I left the International Contemporary Art Fair in Zurich that was held from the 8-11 Nov 2012. Switzerland does not need another International Art Fair, it needs to show in this fair, the amazing talent in Switzerland, and to show the galleries from all over Switzerland.
Antiquated Zurich has even accepted some of the street artists to paint on the buildings in the new Zuri West area. Graffiti art was started in Europe in Zurich by Harald Naegeli. Who? If there are serious books written about Street Art they will start with him. It was Naegeli who in 1977 went around spraying the very proper buildings of Zurich. He was put in jail for nine months and then he moved to Germany. I was fortunate to buy one of his works at one of Zurich’s most creative auction Houses Koller. He had done the works to benefit the Pro Natura organization that tries to preserve the nature of Switzerland. His work can still be seen on some buildings in Zurich.
BUY SELL OR HOLD
Many of the artists I mentioned are undervalued on the market and in a coming newsletter, I will try in dept to discuss who is interesting to buy. Harald Naegeli can be bought in the art market. Please do not rip off building parts. It has been done with some young collectors in London trying to resell Bansky. Not a good idea!
Thank you to all of the people reading my blog for your responses. It is wonderful to hear what you have to say. Now on to the Mother Ship…The Miami Basel Art Fair.
Beyond the Street: The 100 Leading Figures in Urban Art
Edited by Patrick Nguyen, Stuart Mackenzie
Published by Gestalten, Berlin