Sculpture

Switzerland’s most famous sculptors are Alberto Giacometti and Jean Tinguely.

The Jo Siffert fountain by Jean Tinguely
The Siffert fountain by Jean Tinguely © Swiss Image / Hans-Peter Siffert

The most internationally renowned and illustrious Swiss sculptor is the artist Alberto Giacometti from Graubünden. His elongated human figures, inspired by Surrealism and Existentialism, can be found in museums all over the world. The Kunsthaus Zurich houses the largest collection of his work.

Jean Tinguely was the leading proponent of kinetic art in Switzerland, which involved building moving sculptures from pieces of scrap metal and machinery. One of his major works is a fountain dedicated to the Formula I driver Jo Siffert, which still stands in a downtown park in the city of Fribourg. Other examples of kinetic art are the mobile metal sculptures by Walter Linck and the iron colossus by Bernhard Luginbühl.

Jean Tinguely’s French wife, Niki de Saint Phalle, also made a name for herself with her giant, brightly coloured and voluptuously proportioned women (“Nanas”). One of these sculptures hangs in the main hall of Zurich central station. The Gothic sculptures by the artist H.R. Giger featured in the film “Alien”.