The Best Art Galleries in Engadin Valley, Switzerland

Basel isn't the only game in town. This idyllic alpine location is brimming with both artistic talent and creative spaces.

In the southeastern part of Switzerland in the Swiss canton of Graubünden lies the Engadin Valley. People are usually drawn to this picture-perfect area of the country by the unparalleled skiing, awesome events and five-star hospitality, along with the gourmet restaurants and chic stores of glitzy St. Moritz. Indeed, it’s in this latter town that you’ll find thirteen international art galleries and the NOMAD art fair each February. But the St. Moritz art galleries aren’t the only draw. The valley  as a whole demands further exploration, with its more than sixty-five art galleries in several towns and villages that are home to inspiring spaces housing all manner of paintings, sculptures, photographs and mixed media installations, as well as rotating exhibitions, stimulating lectures and cultural festivals.

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For hundreds of years, the valley has inspired the culturally curious and expressive alike—in addition to artists, thinkers such as Frederich Nietzsche settled here. In more recent times, this Switzerland art hub has also captured the imaginations of artists like Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alberto Giacometti, Gerhard Richter and James Turrell, as well as local hero Not Vital. From big names like Hauser & Wirth to independent photographers’ studios and salon-esque townhouses, there is a wealth of local and international art galleries, along with emerging artists to discover, making this a must-visit arts destination during the adventurous winter season, the bustling summer months and in the seasons between.

Engadin, Switzerland’s Best Art Galleries

Galerie Karsten Greve

A creamy white art gallery space with large paintings and the corner of a staircase visible
Galerie Karsten Greve. Galerie Karsten Greve

The St. Moritz location of this international network of galleries follows the German founder’s ethos of forging deep personal relationships with artists, resulting in shows defined by their uniqueness. From paintings, ceramics and installations to museal exhibitions that showcase one artist’s estate, this art gallery pairs high-quality contemporary paintings and sculptures with evocative retrospectives over three floors on the main street of the sophisticated Swiss town. The current exhibition, “MASTERPIECES,” assembles works old and new by artists who have been fundamental to the gallery’s half century of success, including Cy Twombly, Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni, Louise Bourgeois and Pierre Soulages, as well as newer talent such as Gideon Rubin, Qiu Shihua and Georgia Russell.

The Stable

A rustic art gallery with sculpture and exposed beams
The Stable. Stefan Altenburger, Zürich

Fritz Steinhart’s The Stable in the charming village of S-chanf presents a mix of Swiss national and global talent. You’ll find contemporary art and contrasting perspectives in painting, ceramics, sculpture, photography and mixed media. It’s a space with two distinct areas. The interior proffers a semi-cloistered gallery space on a single level, but it’s the rear that proves to be the most impressive. A high-ceilinged open barn (the former stable) with timber planks for walls provides visitors with a rustic, capacious area to view artworks, installations and sculptures, which are juxtaposed with the atavistic backdrop of the river Inn and mountain range beyond. Recent exhibitions have featured Rudolf Polanzsky, Matt Smoak and Sara Rhamanian as well as the Engadin artist Patrick Salutt. Showing currently is “Sunshine” by New York-based Swiss artist Yves Scherer.

Galerie Tschudi

A rustic art gallery interior
Galerie Tschudi. Courtesy: Galerie Tschudi. Photo by Ralph Feiner

Galerie Tschudi in Zuoz (located between S-chanf and Madulain) is in a large, traditional Engadin townhouse dating from the medieval period, with its own hayloft-cum-venue space. The building encompasses several commodious floors, allowing for solo or group exhibitions and installations to occur simultaneously, and there are enhanced rustic stone interiors and views of the beauty outside throughout. Open during both the summer and winter seasons, the gallery appeals to an audience of curators and private collectors while promoting emerging and established stars of contemporary art. Currently on view is the compelling group exhibition “Light Is Therefore Colour” featuring Carl Andre, Andrea Büttner, Julian Charrière, Federico Herrero, Bethan Huws, Callum Innes, Kimsooja, Martina Klein, Donna Kukama, Katie Paterson, Su-Mei Tse and Dan Walsh.

Art Castell

A rounded stone building with a single door sits on a green grassy hill
James Turrell’s ‘Skyspace Piz Uter.’ Credit: Hotel Castell

Art Castell—an offshoot of the Hotel Castell—isn’t so much an art gallery as it is a destination for an entire installation, and it’s certainly somewhere to seek out. Owner Ruedi Bechtler is a passionate collector of contemporary art and has collaborated with various foundations to place works by Carsten Höller, David Shrigley, Tadashi Kawamata and more around the hotel. However, the current must-see piece at the site is James Turrell’s Skyspace Piz Uter—a stone rotunda that invites viewers to enter, sit and look up to the sky through the open ceiling above. The changing light throughout the day provides viewers with a multitude of different perspectives and an immersive experience that surpasses many traditional installations.

Hauser & Wirth St. Moritz

Hauser & Wirth
Hauser & Wirth St. Moritz. Hauser & Wirth

Since December 2018, the revered blue chip gallery situated opposite The Badrutt’s Palace Hotel has supercharged the area’s art scene with its accessible exhibitions and boundary-pushing installations (last year’s full-service Roth Bar being one intoxicating example). In addition to works by photographers Don Mcculin and Cindy Sherman on display, you’ll also find work from the estates of Fausto Melotti, Eva Hesse and Dieter Roth on show across three expansive floors and 4,000 sq ft of exhibition space. Currently on view and curated by Dieter Schwarz is the “Gerhard Richter: Engadin exhibition, which focuses on Richter’s series of gesturally rich overpainted photographs, all of which taken while walking through the local landscape on his holidays.

Vito Schnabel Gallery

Large colorful paintings hang on an otherwise unadorned gallery wall
The Angel Otero exhibition at Vito Schnabel Gallery. Artworks © Angel Otero; Photo by Stefan Altenburger; Courtesy the artist and Vito Schnabel Gallery
The Vito Schnabel Gallery in St. Moritz is the discerning European counterpart to the bohemian vibes of Schnabel’s New York outpost. Opened in 2015, this space is situated in the former gallery of the art dealer Bruno Bischofberger—viewed by some as the man who popularized the idea of opening art galleries in St. Moritz. Today, the rooms support and showcase those voices pushing the boundaries of contemporary art, focusing on large-scale paintings and in-your-face installations. Currently on view is a solo exhibition of works by Angel Otero, while artists who have exhibited in the past have included Ai Weiwei, Jordy Kerwick and the owner’s protean father and filmmaker, Julian Schnabel.

Stalla Madulain

An interior shot of what looks to be a barn with several large paintings hanging inside
Stalla Madulain. Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich

Cousins Gian Tumasch Appenzeller and Chasper Schmidlin founded this unassuming gallery in 2014 in the middle of the attractive village of Madulain between S-chanf and St. Moritz. Situated in a 500-year-old barn, it sells and shows contemporary art by local artists who live and work nearby and those who have been inspired by the Engadin landscape. Split over three floors of hayloft, barn and basement, the surrounding agricultural milieu contrasts with paintings, multidisciplinary exhibitions and installations. Exhibitions can also stretch across to another bucolic space adjacent to the gallery, La Staletta. Currently on view is artist and designer Rolf Sachs’ exhibition “So ein Mist!’ (What B.S),” while other artists on this art gallery’s roster include Not Vital, Christina Perett, Peter Knapp and Laura Bott.

The Best Art Galleries in Engadin Valley, Switzerland