A neighborhood in Geneva called le Quartier des Bains near Plainpalais has become the contemporary art hub of Geneva. This is where you can see the creations of recent and present-day artists, starting with MAMCO, the Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Switzerland’s biggest contemporary art museum. MAMCO is housed in a former factory building which has been converted into an exciting spacious exhibition space while retaining echoes of its industrial past. The museum was founded in 1994 to house a collection of art from mid-20th century to the present and to show temporary exhibits. Each year the museum presents three new exhibitions as part of its project “in progress” in addition to its permanent displays.
For new visitors I would recommend joining a guided tour. On the first Sunday of each month MAMCO organizes a guided tour in French beginning at 3pm. On the first Wednesday of each month, entry to the museum is free and special guided visits take place from 6pm to 9pm. Visits in French are at 6pm and at 7pm in English. The museum also organizes courses in modern art, conferences and trips to various art venues, such as, the Venice Biennale or artists’ studios in Lyons. Especially interesting are the conferences and trips with Christian Bernard, MAMCO’s director, who has been the guiding force behind the museum since its inception. The courses and conferences are in French and for information about current activities, including for children on Wednesday afternoons, see: http://www.mamco.ch/agenda.html.
Next door to MAMCO are the Centre d’art contemporain and the Centre de la photographie, which have complementary showings of contemporary art and photography. The most recent was an exhibition of early photographs by Cindy Sherman, a well known American artist/photographer.
Since the opening of MAMCO, the neighborhood of les Bains around the museum has sprouted a large number of art galleries which are also worth a visit, especially during les Nuits des Bains, when three times a year, all the galleries are open in the evening and the streets are full of people gallery hopping. Les Nuits des Bains in 2013 will be held on March 14, May 2 and September 12.
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