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Swell Things No. 39 // Zürich Edition

January 31, 2017 by Erin Fletcher

To ring in the new year, my husband and I went to Zürich with a few friends. This walkable city was filled with delightful street art and museums, breathtaking views over bridges, scrumptious cheese and delectable chocolate (and did I mention cheese). Here are a few of the things I enjoyed during our trip.

1. It was so fun to wander through the large-scale installation work of Phyllida Barlow that was on display at Kunsthalle. We got to navigate through wooden beams splashed with paint, massive foam sculptures and other curious construction items.
2. The cloister at the Fraumünster Church, a women’s abbey built in 853, is adorned with several floor to ceiling frescos by Paul Bodmer. The style of painting was more reminiscent of oil pastel, with the movement of the hand being quite visible. The frescos were captivating, but not the reason for our visit. Check out number eight for more about the Fraumünster.
3. There are so many medieval-style paintings on building facades around the city. I was particularly pleased by this one of “Der Bücherskorpion”, such a pesky little creature.
4. After strolling along the Viadukt, a unique collection of shops and restaurants built within the viaducts of the Industriequartier district railway, we passed by an alley adorned with floating umbrellas.
5. During a trip to Kunsthaus, I discovered a new admiration for the work of Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler. On the second floor of the Kunsthaus, an entire room is dedicated to his large-scale Parallelism paintings and small-scale landscapes. His creative use of color to create shadows and highlights were inspiring to see up close.

6. During a stroll through the old part of Zürich near our hotel, we stumbled upon an art installation with a variety of interactive pieces. Driven by artist Mark Ofner, this work, from what I can gather through translations, is about the creation of life and Zürich’s attainment of clean water and how that negatively impacted the landscape. You can check out images of the work here and watch a video of the largest interactive element.
7. The best shop we visited during our trip, by far, was Fabrikat! The women running the shop were so delightful and knowledgable about the products. I think I looked at everything in the shop two or three times in the hopes of adding them to my basket. Fabrikat sells a collection of new and old tools, vintage emphera, drawing and writing utensils and other randomly beautiful objects. The image above shows four sheets of handprinted paper from Atelier Neuweg that I purchased. Can’t wait to use them.
8. The main draw that brought us to the Fraumünster were the stained glass windows independently designed by Augusto Giacometti (1940) and Marc Chagall (1970). Both artists created a unique style of imagery for stained glass. The lines were thick, harsh and expressive with small amounts of color peering through.
9. Walking up to the second floor of the Migros Museum, I was hit by an aroma of plaster. To my surprise, I was greeted by Karla Black’s piece Principles Of Admitting: a 115 x 34 feet spread of plaster powder mixed with powdered paint, which gave off an icy blue hue. Along one side, the plaster mixture had been built up into a wide cliff, that almost seemed to defy itself. It was such an extraordinary piece to see in person.
10. These curious paintings were all over Zürich and this was one of my favorites.


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  • Visit My Bindery
    My name is Erin Fletcher and I live in Boston working as a Bookbinder.  This blog is an extension of Herringbone Bindery where I can share my inspirations with you.
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