Interview with Chasper Schmidlin and Gian Tumasch Appenzeller, founder of the gallery Stalla Madulain in Engadin
Today Engadin might be better known as a luxurious skiing resort, but the region actually is known also for its cultural and artistic tradition. In fact, Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann, Friedrich Nietzsche, and of course Giovanni Segantini and the Giacometti family are associated with the area. Contemporary art is also spreading quickly in the region, with new boutique fairs for art and design and international art galleries opening branches to lure the rich tourists. But one gallery is deeply rooted in the local tradition, Stalla Madulain, founded by two young men in the small village of Madulain.
Who are the founders of the gallery and what is your background?
Chasper Schmidlin and Gian Tumasch Appenzeller. Two cousins from Engadin, from a family of Engadin artists.
When did you open the gallery and why?
We had the idea to do a gallery in the Engadin with art and artists with a connection to the region. By chance we found the old barn, and the owner liked our idea. We renovated it and opened in December 2014.
What kind of space and location have you chosen for your gallery?
An old barn from 1488, an original structure. Very antique, just slightly renovated and no heaters. Sometimes it snows inside on the sculptures. Chasper Schmidlin, Stalla-Partner and Architect, won an international architecture prize of honor for this project.
What are your models? Who inspires you?
Our grandfather inspired us a lot – he is 89 years old and still keeps horses in his barn in Zuoz and does haying and brings the grass back to the barn. We like working in a barn like that – not with animals but with art and artists.The location and the surroundings are always an inspiration for us and the artists.
Can you tell us about the art and cultural scene in Engadin?
The magic of the nature and the incredible light of the valley will always attract important figures from the international culture and art scene. It’s something that’s difficult to put into words. Just come and enjoy! There are many artist’s studios, museums, historical buildings, history – We don’t know where to start.
What kind of art do you show? Can you give examples of artists you have shown and exhibitions that you organized?
Contemporary Art. Artists from Engadin and the Mountain region, or artists who have been inspired here, or artists we invited to the Engadin to spend some time and feel the magic of the valley. Often the artists do artworks especially for our exhibitions. Not Vital, Sara Masüger, Hans Danuser, and many more.
Are you mainly interested in the local art scene, or do you try also to connect at the international level? And how?
With our international clients and artists and because of our authentic Engadin gallery we have become connected to the whole world. We also exhibit artists who are in the collections of MoMA, the Metropolitan, and so on.
What is your mission as a gallerist?
Good question. Have fun, stay calm, be good.
What are you plans for the future?
To keep going like that and be an inspiration with our location for more and more amazing artists. We want also to curate more exhibitions outside of the Engadin – we rent special locations and make temporary galleries wherever we want.
Via Principela 15
From February 2 to 25, 2018:
Saturday: 4 pm–6.30 pm
Sunday: 3 pm–5 pm
Finissage: March 3, 2018, 4 pm–8 pm
And by appointment: +41 78 640 65 66