Zurich, January 18, 2020
Corrado Ferrari has worked in the gallery business for many years. He started with the famous Gallery Turske & Turske in Zurich and was in charge at Jamileh Weber until he opened his own gallery with his business partner Etienne Lullin.
Etienne Lullin worked at the Kunstmuseum Winterthur in Switzerland and for Paragon Press in London before founding Lullin + Ferrari in 2008.
Corrado defines the gallery as a “connoisseur boutique.” This is one of the galleries in business for quite some time in Zurich, even though they opened “only” twelve years ago.
The number of art galleries in Zurich is shrinking. There may be many reasons for that. However, if we focus on what makes Lullin + Ferrari one of the ones still there, a key factor is the approach that Etienne and Corrado have with their public even before they become their customer. They welcome everyone into the gallery and invite them into a conversation about the artworks that are exhibited at that moment.
Talking about the crisis of art galleries, Corrado says that younger people are not as attracted to art as their parents were. Nowadays, we look more toward collecting experiences than objects.
Corrado expands: “One of the old-fashioned aspects of an art gallery that we need to change is the idea that this is an exclusive and elitist place where only those who are part of the ‘club’ can enter. An art gallery should be a place for everyone who is even just curious. We are not concerned about entering a bookshop for the first time, so why should we be hesitant about entering an art gallery?”
Lullin + Ferrari also welcomes schools who are interested in visiting the gallery and understanding more about what it is exhibited.
Corrado says: “This is a people business: people buy if they have a personal connection with the galleries and a trust relationship is created.”
“Etienne has a book where he writes ideas about titles and themes for exhibitions," says Corrado. Once they have defined the theme, they then invite artists from the gallery program to participate and choose works from private collections and their own holdings.
The exhibition I saw while conducting the interview was Narration and Performance with works by Anne-Lise Coste, Klodin Erb, Slawomir Elsner, Richard Hamilton, Rebecca Horn, Urs Lüthi, Mamiko Otsubo, Ulrike Rosenbach, and Dieter Roth.
Regarding the Zurich art scene, Corrado wishes that the place is strengthened as a brand. Zurich has a number of very good galleries and is a great place to visit even only for a weekend, especially the nature and the vicinity of everything—great restaurants and many art spaces besides the exquisite galleries make it a place to discover again and again. A way to position Zurich with a clear footprint in the art scene.
Reflecting on what is happening in the art world and the secret of success of the gallery, Corrado thinks that what is important is reinventing ourselves, and we close the interview with a quote from John Maynard Keynes: "When the facts change, I change my mind.”
“Art, in the end, is a reflection about life,” says Corrado.
Alina Baldini is an Italian psychologist, she has lived and worked in Basel (CH) since 2017. For the past couple of decades, she has been working in corporations addressing topics like company culture, coaching, and personal transformation. Following her passion for contemporary art and her curiosity to discover the curating aspects in what she experiences, she decided to begin the Postgraduate Programme in Curating, MAS at the ZHdK in 2019.