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The Swiss capital Bern, founded in the early 12th century has a rich history, but is also renowned for its modern and contemporary art scene. With a wealth of exhibition spaces to visit, lovers of contemporary art will find themselves at home in this architecturally striking city. Culture Trip picks the ten must-visit art museums and galleries to visit in Bern.
Since 1970, Galerie Henze and Ketterer has been a leading Bernese gallery, specializing in German Expressionism and mid-20th century Gestural Abstraction and Figuration, though it also covers a wider range of contemporary and classical modern art. Additionally, the gallery publishes books and catalogs on sale in its adjoining art bookshop to accompany its exhibitions. Artists such as Daniel Spoerri, Theodor Werner and Giovanni Manfredini have been exhibited here, alongside the gallery’s Ludwig Ernst Kirchner archive. Aside from its exhibitions, the gallery also offers a consulting service for current artists wishing to organize events and collections of their own.
Galerie Henze & Ketterer, Kirchstrasse 26, Wichtrach, Bern, Switzerland, +41 31 781 06 01
Galerie Martin Krebs was founded in 1968 by Martin Krebs, at a time when Bern was one of the most important art cities in the world due to the influence of Harald Szeemann. A generation of inspired young artists wanted a place to exhibit their work; located in a spacious vaulted cellar, the gallery fulfilled this need and its first solo exhibition was by Jakob Bill. Furthermore, its main exhibition that year, Bern 68, featured work by Bernese artists and was highly acclaimed in the art community. Pop artists Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol are regularly displayed here alongside other international artwork. The focus remains on Swiss art, however, with new artists constantly being discovered and exhibited.
Martin Krebs, Münstergasse 43, Bern, Switzerland, +41 31 311 73 70
Founded by Raphael Rigassi in 1991, Galerie Rigassi by SOON displays art from a range of eras and continents and is committed to the idea that art can be used as a means of communication. Works by famous artists such as Ingeborg Lüscher and Arman have been displayed here, though the gallery also exhibits works from lesser known artists from around the world. Indeed, Galerie Rigassi’s artistic scope stretches worldwide, with work by aboriginals and Zhou Brothers also finding a place here. Group and solo shows are rotated regularly whilst the Rigassi young art critic award, bestowed every three years since it was created in 2002, confirms the gallery’s position as a space for energetic critical discussion.
Galerie Rigassi, Münstergasse 62, Bern, Switzerland, +41 31 311 69 64