Antonius Caviar

Muzem Susch, a unique place in an alpine valley

Guided by her reliable intuition, a well-known and valued art collector, Grażyna Kulczyk, adapted the former monastery and brewery to present the artworks of the most outstanding contemporary artists in this unusual and extremely unique space. The opening of the Muzeum Susch in a small town of just 200 inhabitants has gathered many art lovers.

Twenty-five rooms, over 1,500 square meters of exhibition space, a library, a lecture hall and offices. These figures don’t do the juistice to how charming Susch is, and they don’t seem to be anything that could attract the attention of the whole world. However, when you imagine the museum located at an altitude of 1438 m above sea level, almost 3 hours from Zurich, where the area is covered by snow from October, you start to look at it from a different perspective.

The abandoned buildings of the medieval monastery and the neighboring 19th-century brewery were adapted to the exhibition space with care for the smallest detail. Plasters were put using the technique from before 800 years, wooden elements of the structure were exposed, historical floors were preserved. Next to the old grottos that used to be cold stores, news spaces were created using over 9,000 tons of stones. As Stach Szabłowski aptly wrote, “water from underground streams trickles down the stones, limestone sediments build up; it is hard to find a more vivid metaphor for a living place, created as an alternative to sterile box spaces in which art is being packed in today’s galleries.”

Three years have passed since the publication of the project by Grażyna Kulczyk until its implementation. Observing the effects, it seems that the investor was able to ensure that each passing year had not 365, but at least twice as many business days. The effect is spectacular, and the artistic installations from permanent elements of the exhibition flawlessly blend into the architecture of the buildings (over a 14-meter long work by Monika Sosnowska or a seven-ton sculpture by Adrian Villar Rojas).

The founder decided that during the inaugural exhibition main focus will be put on the work of female artists. Curator Kasia Redzisz decided on the title, taken from an essay by Siri Hustvedt: “Women looking at men looking at women.” Among 57 pieces of art, less than half belong to the Grażyna Kulczyk collection, which is to be a constant trend of subsequent exhibitions (by the end of 2019 two more exhibitions are planned). Pieces of work include Carly Accardi, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Helena Almeida, Maria Bartuszova, Teresa Pągowska, Sylwia Sleigh and Hannah Wilke. The permanent collection includes eleven artworks by Polish and foreign artists, including Zofia Kulik and Piotr Uklański.

And why are we writing about this event on our blog? First of all, we are very proud that such a unique place was created by a Polish woman, and secondly – we were happy to participate in the the museum opening. Offering a tasting of Antonius Caviar, we shared with the guests what we have the best. We will definitely come back to Susch, it’s a place that cannot be missed.