I just came back from a few days in Zürich, Switzerland. It’s a very pretty, historical city in a rich country, a European financial capital and one of the most expensive urban areas in the world; with a high density of rich individuals and minimal unemployment. The city centre is packed with luxury stores, property prices are unbelievable high and consumer goods, food and cosmetics are expensive. But there are some cool museums and galleries.
Switzerland has a strong heritage of art appreciation and art collection and Zürich has a kicking gallery scene as well as some great modern art museums. I particularly liked the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, see below!) which is is located in an old brewery, the Löwenbräu-Areal.The Löwenbräu-Areal also hosts a whole clutch of other art galleries, offices as well as a bookshop and an art publishing house – if you’re in the neighbourhood, check it out; Tram # 4 stops directly outside (station Dammweg).
I also visited Museum Rietberg (Asian, Indian and African art; they have a stunning collection of Indian Mughal miniature paintings), the Museum für Gestaltung (an exhibition about vintage design which still runs until 6th April 2014) and Galerie StephanWitschi which is currently showing an exhibition by Berlin sculptor Peter Kröning.
Another gallery which I really liked was Galerie Central in Zähringerstrasse 22. Galerie Central specialises in Inuit art (the non-PC term for Inuit is eskimo) – fascinating and very different. The sculptures are mostly from stone and often in animal shapes. In fact, one of the main themes in Inuit art (especially amongst the older generation of artists) are transformations – a person transforming into an animal. If you’re in the neighbourhood, check out the gallery. Highly recommended!
SIDE NOTE: Migros is one of the two major retail groups in Switzerland (its bitter rival is Coop). There are Migros supermarkets all over Switzerland as well as Migros banks, florist shops, electronics stores, petrol stations, restaurants and furnishings/interior design stores. Migros also owns own label manufacturer Mibelle who makes proprietary brands for many European food and beauty retailers. Together with its rival Coop, the Migros group dominates the Swiss retail market and services industry.