Annual art festival showcasing both local and international contemporary and modern art and design
Despite the presence of many private collectors and key art galleries (see Quartier des Bains), the Lake Geneva area lacked a presence on the international art scene. Now, with Artgenève, it has something to show. Revitalized five years ago by Thomas Hug, a musician who was formerly based in Berlin, the art fair has catapulted the local art scene into the international limelight, while drawing many dealers from abroad. And because it takes place at the beginning of the year, away from the crowded spring and summer art calendars, it attracts a greater number of art players every year.
Out of 80 participating galleries, a quarter are Swiss, including the Lausanne gallery Heiner Reszler that is presenting the young Swiss artist, Andreas Hochuli, whose candy colours and pop sayings are truly refreshing. As a foretaste to the upcoming Chinese Whispers exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Bern, Uli Sigg will be showing pieces from his famous collection of Chinese contemporary art. Among the other highlights, a performance-happening will be given by Augustin Rebetez, the enfant terrible of the Swiss art scene, in honour of the finalization of a plan to build the fine arts, photograph and design museums together in Lausanne.
And because Artgenève is also about hospitality, a 200sqm Pool Bar for the 2016 edition acts as a sculpture garden in which to admire the reflections of the art, but also to take in some of the local wine.
With an interesting blend of cutting edge and mainstream art, Artgenève is aimed at both seasoned and first-time buyers. The airy layout makes for a nice change in art fairs and produces a congenial atmosphere for the many talks and performances that are part of the programme. Artgenève actually manages to erase the presence of PALEXPO, the ghastly exhibition hall by the airport in which it takes place over four days (also home to the Salon de l’Auto a few weeks later).
Look out also for Artgenève's sculpture exhibition which is located along Quai Président Wilson, Quai du Mont-Blanc in Geneva, as well as in the city centre Place Longemalle, Place du Molard and Place de la Madeleine from February to March.