From December 29, 2021, to January 7, 2022, the iconic Wilde Gallery set up a temporary exhibition in Gstaad. Presenting a selection of emerging and established Swiss and international artists, many of which are also present in the Mirabaud collection of Contemporary art, the exhibition was inspired by the surrounding scenic views found in Gstaad. Wilde Gallery co-owner Barth Johnson and Lionel Aeschlimann, Managing Partner of Mirabaud and collector, sat down together to discuss their shared enthusiasm for art and discovering new artists.
With the help of a talented decorator, the art gallery created a unique experimental space on three floors showcasing renowned and upcoming pieces. The exhibits featured works by Swiss artists like Not Vital, Fabrice Gygi, and Yann Gross as well as famed international artists Marina Abramović, Adel Abdessemed and Daniel Canogar.
The gallery handpicked artworks inspired by the surrounding incredible landscapes and snow-covered mountains. “There is no doubt that the theme of snow and mountains has a special resonance here, amidst the incredible landscapes that surround us. The landscapes we present have in common the white of the snow, which has always fascinated artists,” said Barth Johnson. “Snow offers a pretext to evoke light through large abstract white expanses. The contemplation of the immensity of the mountains also invites humility.”
Due to the Pandemic, the Wilde Gallery had to pivot and find a way to innovate after abruptly closing its doors for a short period. Johnson describes opening up the gallery, inviting one guest a day to have a unique and private experience. “This was a great way to create strong links with our collectors and artists, to convey our passion during discussions and meetings,” said Johnson. “Despite the difficulty at the outset and the health restrictions, this Interlude has brought us even closer to certain collectors, and even to new ones.”
“These nearly 2 years have been very painful for many people, who have either lost loved ones or have fallen ill themselves. This, of course, comes before any artistic considerations,” said Lionel Aeschlimann. “However, cultural initiatives such as those in Gstaad are to be welcomed as ways to recreate social ties between people. Culture allows this connection, dialogue, and open-mindedness. During the pandemic, Mirabaud continues to support all its partners in contemporary Art as for instance the FIAC.”
Mirabaud is an International Financial and Banking Group based in Geneva, Switzerland. Founded in 1819, Mirabaud Group is one of Geneva’s oldest private banks. The group specializes in Wealth Management, Asset Management, and Corporate Finance. Beyond its financial services, Mirabaud is very committed to the arts and cultural activities. Over the years, Mirabaud has supported artists and built up a large collection of contemporary art of various media, from sculptures to paintings. They are also partners of the Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, the prestigious Contemporary Art Fair held in Paris.
As a family-owned bank, Mirabaud has evolved over 2 centuries, balancing the link between their traditional values and modernity. Today, the Mirabaud Group is run by 4 Managing Partners, including Yves Mirabaud, Senior Managing Partner, and Lionel Aeschlimann, Managing Partner.
Mirabaud’s mission and core values, including sustainability and corporate social responsibility, are at the forefront of all the group’s activities. As well as supporting individual artists, they also are big advocates in institutions and events that help bring art to a wider audience.
“Our ability to marvel at nature, to protect it, to pass it onto the next generation, can be captured in art,” said Aeschlimann. “This is a way to convey this message and to remind ourselves every time we look at these works, how beautiful and fragile our earth is.”
With a belief that art should be accessible to all, Yves Mirabaud and Lionel Aeschlimann have put their complete collection online available for everyone to view.
“In my opinion, art takes on a special meaning when it is shared as widely as possible,” said Aeschlimann. “At Mirabaud, which has a large collection of contemporary art and supports numerous artists and projects, our commitment extends across several fronts: the dissemination of art to the broadest possible audience, in institutions, urban spaces, and now on the web.”
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