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Summer Days - Best enjoyed at Sculpture Parks

Updated: Jan 19, 2023

Fun in the sun or arts and culture? Ideally both together! During the summer months, parks are the best way to enjoy art and sculptures.

Enea Baummuseum in Jona

Contemporary & Historical - Not Vital

In the beautiful Engadin Valley, the native and renowned Swiss artist Not Vital, is ubiquitous. Especially for the English speaking audience he has to clarify his name. A great example of this was during his speech at the Nasher Sculpture Centre: “Not [viˈtaːl] that’s my real name. And, please don’t pronounce me not [vaɪtəl]. As some people did. I’m not out of function yet”. Through his foundation he preserves historic buildings and makes his art publicly accessible.

Sculptures at Not Vital’s Parkin Sent

One example is the Parkin Sent, where one can get an overview on the broad variety of Not Vitals' sculptures. The park, which was built by the artist, his team and family members, is perched on a steep hill nestled amongst the nature of the Engadin valley. During the two hour tour through the park one can get an impression of Not Vital’s life and the variety of materials he uses for his work. Especially the pieces with functionality can be tested first-hand. The decorative and serial sculptures might be more familiar from museum visits or public appearances such as “3 Lotus” on the Alexanderplatz and «Tongue» in front of the Würth company in Chur.

Parkin Sent and Tarasp Castle

Part of Not Vital’s foundation is the prominent Tarasp Castle, dating from the 11th Century. One of the predecessors furnished the building with incredible handicraft and souvenirs from all over the world. Not Vital complemented it with some of his works, as well as those of internationally renowned artists such as Meret Oppenheim or Andy Warhol. In order to detect all the details and surprising elements throughout the castle, one would need way more than the duration of the guided tour. That includes goosebumps, evoked by the impressive sound of the built in organ. --> more about its history

Diverse - Fondation Pierre Gianadda

In Martigny in the canton of Valais, Léonard Gianadda opened in 1978 the Fondation Pierre Gianadda, in memory of his deceased brother Pierre. Since then he enriches the region with all kinds of art and culture. However, the highlight of the foundation is the sculpture park. Amongst trees, bushes and ponds, sculptures from well-known artists such as Alexander Calder, Henri Moore or Robert Indiana grace the grounds of the park. The interplay of the sculptures and beautiful nature provides a calming ambience, when strawling through the park. Outside the park, Léonard Gianadda provided sculptures for all the roundabouts of the village.

Henri Moore, Max Bill und Alexander Calder at the Fondation Pierre Gianadda

Worth noting besides the park, is the variety of museum space. One building shows the impressive photographs of Léonard Gianaddas' travels in his youth. The main building features temporary art exhibitions, as the latest of Christoph Blocher’s art collection, or soon a Jean Dubuffet retro perspective. If sculptures, art and photography are not enough, one can also visit the Musée de l’automobile, where old-timers of the whole Century can be visited.

Architecutral - Enea Tree Museum

Even more outdoor space for sculptures can be found in the Enea Tree Museum in Jona. On 75’000 square meters, the landscape architecture specialist presents not only his selection of trees, pots and fountains for potential buyers, but also art. Therefore, the park is neatly assembled with sculptures, trees and architecture elements. Remarkable is that the exotic tree selection is equally international as the choice of sculptures. While strawling through the park, one is tempted to sit down for a picnic or tan on the sunbeds. Some of them are neatly displayed at the terrace of the main building (Enea headquarter), giving one the sense of living in such an impressive setting. More of these architectural beauties can be found on the website of Oppenheim Architecture.

Sculptures at the Enea Tree Museum

Bruno Weber Park

Playful – Bruno Weber Park

Those who like it playful, find their Park in Dietikon. Upon entering the village, one passes some pieces of Bruno Weber. But in the Bruno Weber Park, one can fully enter his world, a kind of dreamworld in large size. The artist built it up throughout his lifetime.

Around the park, Bruno Weber has turned everyday useful objects such as bridges, benches into fantastical creations. A first impression of his work, one can also get on the Uetliberg in Zurich.

Temporary - Bad RagARTz

In Bad Ragaz one can find sculptures throughout the year. These sculptures are the remains of previous iterations of the Bad RagARTz exhibition, that takes place every three year. During the sculpture exhibition from May to November, there are sculptures spread all across the village, including the surroundings of the Grand Resort Ragaz. Among the artists are both local and international artists. The planning for the next exhibition in 2021 is underway.

Bad RagARTz 2018

Also perfect for summer days are the James Turells Skyspaces.

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