The contemporary art scene is an exciting and dynamic space that is constantly pushing the boundaries of traditional art forms. To experience some of the most thought-provoking and innovative contemporary art being produced today, we have chosen to visit five different galleries – Artion, Nebulus, MENO, Bailly, and Gowen. Each of these galleries showcases modern and cutting-edge art from emerging and established artists. As a bonus, these galleries offer free admission to students, making it an accessible and enjoyable leisure activity for art enthusiasts and novices alike.
Some of the different criteria that we used to judge each gallery was: We considered the objective of each exhibition (the Theme), number of works, space of the environment, location, and the people we believe it attracts which also related to over personal conclusion of each gallery
Objective: “Our passion for the living history of art, as well as our desire to protect the memory and quality of the Old Masters, in alignment with contemporary trends, result in a dynamic synthesis of the artists we represent; the synergies of their work create orientations, shape opinions and one could argue contribute to the general evolution of the art world, transforming the Commercial Spectrum into Art Historical Context.”
People it would attract: Although the gallery is open to everyone, from what is presented, we assumed that people who have at least a basic understanding of art or an affinity for classical art would enjoy the exhibition more as they can draw links to the original artwork being transformed.
Number of works: 30
Space: The area itself was quite dark itself with two distinguishable floors that required some exploring inorder to fully immerse into the exhibition.
Location: 34 Grand-Rue 204, Geneva
Conclusion: This was one of the first galleries we saw, and we were thoroughly impressed. The art itself was quite immersive because it subverted the ‘great’ art we’ve grown up adorning. The birth of Venus was turned into a mosaic and the painting of the last supper was remodeled in a 3D way to depict two different scenes based on where you saw it. It’s a gallery worth seeing with a dark and moody interior.
Nebulous Pace Gallery
Objective of the installation: “Rooted in the art historical language of abstraction, Villareal’s practice uses pixels and binary code to create complex, rhythmic compositions. Investigating the capacity of light and code as both medium and subject, Villareal’s practice is concerned with the immersive, experiential, and sensorial qualities of perception.
Villareal’s latest body of work, titled Nebulae, brings this language of brightly coloured LED lights, electronics, and custom coding into the gallery space. These new wall-based sculptures are composed of hypnotic, diffused light that pulsates in vibrant hues of radiant colors. Drawing simultaneously on organic, celestial imagery and the visual lexicon of custom software, Villareal’s work bridges the divide, inviting viewers to engage with the boundary that separates the physical and digital worlds.”
People it would attract: Due to its subliminal atmosphere and the eye-catching twinkling of the light, we stated that this atmosphere would be perfect for people who want to fully immerse themselves into a body of work for a short time. Whether that be kids, students, or lawyers, there is something here that grips at everyone’s attention.
Number of works: 8
Space: The space of the gallery itself was very spacious, thus it was on theme with the exhibition as well. The open area allows the audience to fully immerse themselves in the work. Very ethereal and light.
Location: Quai des Bergues 15-17, Geneva
Conclusion: This exhibition, (in my opinion), was the second best of the galleries we explored. It was very spacious and light because the space was open for the viewer to explore it in whichever way they pleased. With 8 major works, each with its own theme and color palette, the art gallery really transported the viewer into another world. I personally recommend this to anyone wishing to try something new in Geneva – whilst it’s still here.
Gowen Art Gallery
Objective of the installation: “Gowen presents REVIVAL I – XVIIIe siècle, the first exhibition in a series which unites over twenty international contemporary artists whose visual language engages with, reimagines, and transforms imagery from the art historical canon. Co-curated by Laura Gowen and New York-based advisor Rachel Cole, the show explores various stylistic and methodological interventions in relation to eighteenth-century aesthetic traditions. Elegant portraiture, conversation pieces, landscapes and the defining mores, trends and events of the era are revisited via ever-changing modes of representation. REVIVAL I – XVIIIe siècle aspires to capture the eighteenth-century zeitgeist, connecting the past to contemporary work as a
mechanism for understanding and informing about the complexities of the present, whilst laying the groundwork for the future.”
People it would attract: The installation that was shown during the time that we visited was also playing with our modern understanding of the Renaissance, just like the Artion Gallery. It was very modern and polished. We believe that people who have an interest in modern art, and who can afford to pay big money for it, would be the ideal audience. Students who enjoy small luxuries would also really enjoy this. This exhibition was done with a younger audience in mind, since the artists themselves were using social media to elevate their works of art and build a community.
Number of works: 27
Location: Grand-Rue 23, 1204 Genève
Space: With many twists and turns all about the gallery, I liked the ‘personal’ journey that the viewer got to embark on. The works were perfected spaced out and the interior allocated enough time and space for the viewer to come to their own conclusions before jumping to the next work.
Conclusion: the interior of the gallery was quite minimalistic with a lot of corners and turns. It encouraged the viewer to take matters into their own hands and seek something that stands out to them. All the works were very thought provoking and the art curator was extremely talented and proficient in his work which helped better understand the purpose of the exhibition.
How often do you change the artworks in the gallery?
It depends on the exhibition, but we usually change them every four to five months. For example, this exhibition is going to last until the end of April, so we are going to change the paintings when the exhibition ends.
What kinds of artists take part in the exhibitions that are held at your gallery?
There are many artists that mainly create contemporary art and most of them are young, about 30-50 years old. WIth this specific collection we integrated the use of social media as most of the artists featured have used their platforms to elevate their status and their works. The reception of the works has been very positive.
How does your gallery have so many clients and visitors that want to see the exhibitions and maybe buy some pieces?
That is also related to the second question because I think one of the main reasons our gallery is so famous is social media. Our artists are mostly young and they share their art with the world through social media which connects them to young clients who come and visit our gallery daily.
Bailly’s Art Gallery
Objective of the installation: “There is an infinite number of subjects, techniques, artistic visions and creative processes that lead to the creation of a work of art. Yet, there are times when compositions that appear to be fundamentally different from one another hold common characteristics: the presence of lines and shades of color. The exhibition Lines and Colors: An artistic path provides a grouping of works that exposes the multitude of unique creative paths resulting from the use of lines and colors”
People it would attract: From all the galleries we visited, this felt the most ‘archaic’ because we didn’t find it soul grabbing or eye catching. From this agreement, we believe that people over the age of 35 may be more prone to enjoy the finer details that we happened to overlook.
M.E.N.O Art Gallery
Objective of the installation: “With a different tangible delineation from the previous galleries, M.E.N.O focuses on creating an atmosphere of fun and spontaneity where the abstract linear works are displayed in an attempt to attract the viewer’s raw reactions.”
People it would attract: This installation showcased a very ‘typical’ abstract gallery atmosphere, where linear lines are composed in a delicate way to elicit a reaction from the viewer. The location of the museum makes it easy for students to hop from one gallery to another. Although we would encourage people who find modern art ‘boring’ to give this one a try, if they’re willing to go with an open mind.
Number of works: 27
Location: Grand-Rue 33, 1204 Genève
Space: the work is comparable to the Gowen with a higher frequency of works per wall/ room. The clean aesthetic of all the white walls carried on in the showroom which helped transmit the true colors and emotions of each artwork.
Conclusion: By the end of the tour I believe that the viewers had formulated their own perspective on what the works were supposed to emoting. I believe the end purpose of the gallery is to trigger a more introspective reflection of what it means to be in such an abstract setting, thus it was quite worth the view.
However, this is an experience that we’d encourage all students and others to try because it offered a lot of different perspectives on a large selection of artworks.
Number of works: 20+
Space: Moderate spacing in the gallery with enough spacing and enough area but they could have done a bit more with the deco and the immersion of the theme with their artwork.
Location: Rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville 10, 1204 Genève
Conclusion: The artworks displayed follow inline with the contemporary theme we’ve seen thus far with a post- modern twist. What really caught our attention was the fact that there were a lot of sculptures integrated into the exhibition. The works were all quite different from each other but I think it helped break the monotony of the 4 previous galleries. Although there is a lot to explore, the previous galleries piqued our interest, however we’d love for the students to see and decide for themselves!