In a celebratory mood, surrounded by intimates, the artist states proudly, “I built much more on this bar with my own hands than any of the other ones I had designed, previously,” referring to the, now closed, Giger Bar in Tokyo, and the, very much open, one in Chur, Switzerland.

The idea for the museum,” explains its director, Carmen Scheifele, “originated with a large exhibition of Giger’s work in the upper castle of Gruyères, commemorating his 50th birthday. Giger discovered that this little town received a million visitors a year who come here for the year-around postcard look of the surrounding snow peaked mountains, and the region’s green valleys, rivers and lakes.”

Following in the tradition of artists such as Salvador Dalí, who created his own museum in Spain, the Giger Museum is a work of art in itself, a large-scale permanent installation of separate environments, an ever-evolving project, which the artist has been working on for more than ten years.

I am aware it is unusual for an artist to open his own museum,” says Giger. “My reasons for that decision were practical. First of all, there is a continuous demand by collectors and admirers of my art to see the original creations on display. Galleries and museums could only exhibit some of my art for a couple of months a year. Most of the time the majority of my paintings sat all in storage all year around. And now that my art is on permanent display, I can control their environment and ensure that the rooms and surroundings are suitable.”

Since it opened in 1998, the H.R. Giger Museum has nearly doubled in size. The top floor now houses the artist’s own private art collection, which includes over 600 works by Salvador Dalí, Ernest Fuchs, Dado, Bruno Weber, Günter Brus, Claude Sandoz, Francois Burland, Friedrich Kuhn, Joe Coleman, Sybille Ruppert, André Lassen, and David Hochbaum, among many others.

Four exhibition rooms in the adjoining wing of the building house the Museum Gallery where, on a rotating basis, Giger curates one-man shows for artists in his collection.
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