Ghisla art collection was established
in April 2014, their intention was the create an artistic holding of
international value. The collection has been created by the Pierino Ghislas and
Martine Ghisla, a husband-and-wife team.
collection is occupied in a futuristic building that has just been built as a project by the Moro
& Moro architectural studio of Locarno.
was of the 40s and was refurbished and redesigned by Franko Mauro, the
conversion led the art gallery to the closure of all window and the continuous
covering of the façade with a ventilated insulating envelope. A big cube
covered by red wire mesh, surrounded by a small moat. The pool outside surrounding
the building is a tribute to Locarno, lacustrine to Locarno distinct separation
to the outside world. “The new architectural connotation corresponds to
the cultural function of the gallery overlooking the Rusca Gardens in the urban
heart of the city.” (Moroemoro, 2007) Where some
sculpture is part of the Ghisla art collection. “It is just located in the centre of the town just a few
metres from the marina.” (Corocher, 2018)
At aged 14,
Pierino Ghisla left Marolta in the Blenio Valley to visit his uncle who owned a
fruit and vegetable importing company in Brussels, Belgium. Pierino Ghisla
decided to stay in Brussels and only returning to Ticino during the holidays.
Ghisla Pursued to help and develop the fruit and vegetable company. This then
provided him with necessary funds to purchase his first painting.
Pierino Ghisla and his wife Martine
decided to partner up and pursue this art collection. After being totally
captivated by a painting by French artist Georges Mathieu. (Ticinotopten.ch,
The collector, 2018) puts it:
“However, we had to wait a
few years before purchasing it – says Ghisla – because we did not have the necessary funds. In the meantime,
we befriended the gallery owner who was selling it. After acquiring that first
painting for our collection – he continues – we fell in love with a work by Christo and Jeanne-Claude,
which my friend the gallery owner allowed us to buy in exchange for several
19th century works that we had at home. This marked the beginning of this
After over thirty
years of collecting, Ghisla have decided to present their collection of works,
creating an exhibition space open to the public. Ghisla decided that opening
the space in the city of Locarno instead of in other cities in Switzerland or
abroad. Ghisla (2017) because:
“Being Ticinese, we have chosen to return to this region to experience
retirement. Withdrawing to Ticino, we brought the collection to Locarno. We do
not aspire to fame, we are quite happy to contribute with a little stone to the
cultural panorama of the region.”
have been gathering perfect masterpiece from the Pop Art, Arte Informale,
Conceptual Art, and the neo Dada movements.
foundation does intend to set up collaborations with other cultural institutions
but his main priority of the gallery was at first to showcase his collection. “we are open to suggestions and
collaborations. In this first moment, we try above all to
in the Ghisla art collection are laid out in eight rooms over three floors.” (Ghisla
Art Collection Locarno, 2017).
Three out of
the eight exhibition-rooms are dedicated to temporary exhibits that add to the
As you enter
the gallery space, you will immerse yourself in the taste of Pierino and
Martine Ghisla collection.
was not determined by a specific thematic but as Pierino Ghisla explains:
“it was actually my wife and myself who wished to
create the setting, based on our own taste and intuition, as if we were
displaying the works in our own home and not in a public place.”
(Ticinotopten.ch, The visit, 2018).
during the winter season from January to March the gallery is closed and partly
being renewed by some of his other collection that may not have been shown during
the opening and for new projects/programmes for the temporary exhibition to be
current temporary exhibition in 19th March 2017 until 7th
January 2018 (The Museum to scale 1/7).
The scenography of the scale museum which has over one hundred rooms was
conceive by the artist Wesley Meuris aswell and curated by Ronny Van De Velde, each
of these spaces contain original artworks paintings or complete installations
by 85 contemporary Belgium artists among the best known to those that are known
only to connoisseurs.
“Locarno is a tourist area and we
must be aware of this context.” Says Ghisla. Locarno is recognized worldwide
for its International Film Festival, the biggest cultural event in Switzerland
and one of the most important ones in Europe.