I am Elle
GALERIST ATOSSA MEIER
PHOTO © DIYALA KAYIRAN
Atossa Meier is an art galerist that combines Contemporary Art and Design with galleries in both Zurich and St. Moritz. She grew up in the art world as her father, an art dealer, turned their home into a museum of art. She studied art history, film, photography and Persian in Zurich, and completed a Master’s in Modern Art in NYC. She worked at an auction house before deciding to go on her own. Today she trades contemporary art because we are living as she says “in the now”. I’m not into all the hype about auctions, my artists grow steadily in their value as long as they are alive and not as long as they are underground.
Every day is a highlight. I meet so many interesting people with incredible stories (I could write a book about them) and provide art for dream homes with art collections that take my breath away. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe where I’ve got.
Greatest inspirations or influences?
My greatest inspiration is one of my artists Mathias Kiss - a genius! Otherwise I won’t let anyone influence me. I think I’m more of a person who influences, or should I say one that ‘inspires’. Every guest at the gallery who comes to say goodbye often uses the expression “that was so inspiring” to describe their experience. This makes me incredibly proud and that’s when I know I’m doing something spot on.
How do you select the themes or curatorial aspects of your shows?
Instinct. For example, I have dedicated my current exhibition to nature. A nerve that I touched in a highly sensitive social time in which people should pay more attention to our natural environment and, above all, longing to return to the origin. My artists from the current exhibition reconnect us to mother nature.
How do you feel the pandemic has changed the art world as an industry and for the artists themselves?
The pandemic has made us place even more emphasis on sustainability. Whoever enters my gallery comes into a subtle, sensitive world that is calming. This effect comes from my art and my artists, who get their inspiration from nature (leaves, shells, etc.). The Brazilian artist Valéria Nascimento, who reproduces these elements in the thinnest porcelain and groups them into artistic ensembles. It is an ode to nature that is touching in its delicacy. Celebrations (on view until March 2021), is a celebration of nature. Her works of art hang in individual shops from Bucherer, Tiffany & Co, in luxury hotels and museums. Valéria Nascimento, who now lives in London, ennobles nature and thus humbly pays her homage. The same applies to Aline Borges, who uses preserved twigs with leaves to create sculptures that trigger a deep sense of well-being when viewed. Nature is also in charge of her, as is the case with Christina Oiticica, who lives in Geneva and is the wife of the world-famous writer Paulo Coelho. She leaves the canvases painted by her to the rain and wind or the sea to complete them. Magnificent salt crystals and weathering are created. The three artists are highly topical with their work: The Corona crisis shows that nature is larger and more complex than humans can think. With this exhibition I hit the current upheaval in the zeitgeist.
What are you most looking forward to in 2021?
I like your questions. I look for peace, a certain calm in the form of an energy that allows the world to take a deep breath. I think that’s what nature does to us. She just wants to take a deep breath. And she is allowed to and will. We are powerless against this power. We can manage life but we will never have control over nature. Everything we add to it, we add to ourselves. More respect for nature and for ourselves.