The Quartier des Bains’ contemporary art association gathering 18 cultural venues (galleries, institutions, art centers) aims to encourage and promote contemporary art in the Quartier des Bains, in Geneva and beyond.
The association organizes four events per year which coincides to member galleries’ openings. Member institutions welcome the public free of charge on these occasions. Three annual “Nuits des Bains” take place in March, May and September. In parallel, the association organizes an event in January preceding artgenève and celebrating the beginning of the year. In November, the association participates in the open doors weekend organized by GENEVE.ART, an association federating galleries and cultural institutions of the city and canton of Geneva.
As in New York, Paris, Berlin or Zurich, you can find in Geneva a district where contemporary art galleries have gathered together. Based in the very heart of the city, the galleries have the great advantage to be situated very close to major institutions such as the MAMCO (modern and contemporary art museum) and the Centre d’Art Contemporain, also members of the association. Once an industrial district, the neighborhood now contributes to Geneva’s cultural life and has become an essential hub for contemporary art in Switzerland. It is now a lively district, both chic and bohemian, in which various restaurant and cafés have settled.
The Quartier des Bains association was created in the early 2000s by a small group of gallery owners. Recently established in the neighborhood following the opening of the Centre d’Art Contemporain and the MAMCO in the former buildings of the SIP (Société genevoise d’Instruments de Physique), a few gallery owners then decided to open their new shows simultaneously in order to attract a larger public. The joint openings were launched in 2001 and the association’s statutes were drafted in 2004. Since then, the joint events have been entitled “Nuit des Bains”. The names of the association and of the district come from the eponymous central street; the rue des Bains. Until the beginning of the 20th century, a public bathhouse existed on the Arve river, at the end of the street.