Visages de l'Orient

16.06 — 29.10.17

This exhibition highlights an impressive series of popular images from Islamic countries. Selected from the extraordinary collection brought together by ethnologists Pierre and Micheline Centlivres-Demont, these inexpensive pictures, sold in the souks of the Middle East and neighbouring countries – from Morocco to Muslim India – show the East not exactly as it is but as it would like to be seen, where we learn that Muslim women are called on to support believers in their faith, that Saddam Hussein was revered as a hero in the fight for Islam against the West or that beautiful, tragic love stories are still as successful as ever with “Antar and Abla”, the tale of a poet-warrior born a slave in love with the noble daughter of an emir. Lasting for four months, the exhibition will be accompanied by occasional events in the hall on the ground floor, including debates about Islam, photo reportages, events involving contemporary artists, concerts, shows, and screenings, all of which will be linked to the theme of the exhibition.


Water Magic

03.02 — 21.05.17

Symbolism was a late 19th-century movement which arose in dramatically changing times: industrial revolution, rural exodus, population growth, the development of socialism, the emergence of biology and the evolutionist theory, awareness of the ‘self’ and the role of conscience. It evolved as a reaction against materialism, positivism and realism in art. Although admittedly reactionary, it influenced the advent of Modernism and heralded movements such as Abstraction and Surrealism. Upholding a perception of reality infused with spirituality, Symbolist artists favoured the subtle expression of moods, ima- ginary worlds and dreams, and were naturally fascinated by the elusive, ever-changing nature of the liquid element with its infinite poetic variations and powerful mythological and symbolic imagery. Water is both surface and depth, purveyor of death or life-giving energy, opaque or transparent, crashing waves or total peaceful calm; it also expresses the strong polarization which inspired Symbolism, oscillating between the blackest pessimism and idealism, the quest for a new formal language or the return to pre-Renaissance roots. The exhibition aims to reveal all Symbolism’s different facets through the prism of water whose rich and varied repertoire was to inspire painters, sculptors, poets, musicians, cabinetmakers, glassmakers and ceramists. Part of the exhibition will travel and be shown at the Musée Félicien Rops, in Namur, Belgium.

Flemish and Dutch Painting

from the Museum of Art and History in Geneva

21.10.16 — 22.01.17

The Museum of Art and History in Geneva is lucky enough to have over 280 Flemish and Dutch paintings dating from the 15th to the 18th centuries. Most of these were donated or bequested by several generous collectors (such as Jacob Duval, Gustave Revilliod and Lucien Baszanger, for example) and the collection is now the largest ensemble of paintings representing Flemish and Dutch Schools in Switzerland. Its quality is remarkably consistent which makes it an outstanding example in the history of the collections. Between 2002 and 2009, the paintings underwent systematic restoration work and scientific study and the resulting catalogue confirmed their status in the museum’s treasures and the collection’s vital importance at the international level.Our exhibition offers a selection of 81 paintings focussing on the 17th century: the Golden Age of Rubens and Rembrandt. Set out in six thematic sections, the show highlights the phenomenon of painters’ specializations in a particular genre, emphasizing the contrast between the wide-ranging market of the mainly Calvinist Seven United Provinces (today’s Kingdom of the Netherlands, often referred to as Holland by metonymy) and the more centralized market of the Spanish Netherlands (today’s Belgium, sometimes referred to as Flanders) which remained Catholic. The exhibition has two main aims: to reveal an essential but little known facet of the Geneva collections to a wider audience and to put the paintings back into the context of the history of taste.

Artists for Freedom

Artists for Freedom The Berlin Wall

22.07 - 02.10.2016

Reference to the fall of the Berlin Wall rekindles memories of the famous pictures taken on November 9, 1989, and in the ensuing days: jubilant crowds on both sides of the border, scaling up their efforts to bring about the reunification that was to become reality faster than political officials had expected. Photos and television images of those events are still icons today. Construction of the Berlin Wall started on 13 August, 1961, and on the West Berlin side it was used as a remarkable medium for the population, for artists, poets and later on for taggers and sprayers. Everyone remembers the slogan: "My God, help me to survive this deadly love" subtitled under the fresco of the famous full-mouth embrace exchanged by Leonid Brejnev and Erich Honecker, painted by Russian artist Dmitri Vrubel in 1990. And it was during that same year 1990 that several 1m x 1.20m sections were removed from blank stretches of the Wall and used as a creative medium by such well-known artists as Sol Lewitt, Roberto Longo or Luciano Castelli. Including some 40 pieces, the "Artists for Freedom" exhibition has travelled around the world and it is now the Pierre Arnaud Foundation’s turn to proudly welcome it to Lens. The collection highlights the close link between art and history, between raw material and intellectual production and is the perfect example to remind us how pertinent writer Marshall McLuhan’s famous aphorism can be: "The medium is the message".

Maurice Zermatten

Aux sources de l'inspiration

29 avril — 10 juillet 2016

L'exposition invite le visiteur à redécouvrir l'œuvre de Maurice Zermatten par une relecture de deux de ses romans: L’esprit des tempêtes et L’homme aux herbes. Entre le premier, écrit en 1946, et le second, en 1980, une vie s’est écoulée et la plume de Maurice Zermatten n’a cessé de courir pour raconter encore et encore son pays. Or, d’un bout à l’autre de la vie de l’écrivain, les deux œuvres dialoguent, en des couples d’opposés: le sorcier et le guérisseur, le bien et le mal, le passé et le progrès, etc. Ancrés dans le terreau valaisan, les récits de Maurice Zermatten touchent aux grandes thématiques de la littérature et rejoignent des questionnements universels, servis par une écriture aux qualités indéniables, saluée par de nombreux prix littéraires. Porté par l’aspect très visuel de l’écriture de Maurice Zermatten, le visiteur est invité à entrer dans un espace où les sens dialoguent. Occupant une place primordiale, le texte servira diversement de fil conducteur à l’exposition qui s’articule autour de trois chapitres: Le critique d’art: Une réflexion autour de l’esthétique de Maurice Zermatten et de la perception qu’il avait des peintres qu’il aimait : Vallet, Chavaz, Dubuis…


Mélancolie des pierres

19 décembre 2015 — 17 avril 2016

Une vague romantique a déferlé sur la Fondation, présentant au public des oeuvres de grands artistes romantiques européens.

Lien sur la page de l'exposition "Romantisme"

Le Diable, la plume et le pinceau

Auberjonois, Muret, Ramuz et Stravinsky

6 novembre — 6 décembre 2015

La Fondation Pierre Arnaud a rendu hommage à quatre artistes qui ont tous séjourné à Lens : le peintre Albert Muret, qui s’y établit de 1902 à 1919, le peintre René Auberjonois qui sillonna le Valais, l’écrivain Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz qui y écrivit son premier roman valaisan et le compositeur russe Igor Stravinsky à qui l’on doit le révolutionnaire Sacre du printemps. En collaboration avec l’association Les Amis de Muret, la Fondation Pierre Arnaud présente un projet en trois volets : une publication, une exposition et, nouveauté dans la programmation du Centre d’art, un spectacle grandiose : L’Histoire du Soldat de Ramuz et Stravinsky.

Lien sur la page de l'exposition "Le Diable, la plume et le pinceau"

White Man - Black Man

Impressions of Africa

27 juin 2015 — 25 octobre 2015

The Pierre Arnaud Foundation’s second summer exhibition highlighted the deep relationship Western and African arts have built up over the centuries.

Link to the page of the exhibition "White Man - Black Man. Impressions of Africa"

Pierre Arnaud Collection

A Swiss Passion

1. May 2015 — 14 June 2015

The Pierre Arnaud Foundation invited the public to discover part of the Collection which was the reason for its creation.

Link to the page of the exhibition Pierre Arnaud Collection. A Swiss Passion


A symphony of Opposite

20 December, 2014 — 19 April, 2015

The exhibition Realism. A symphony of Opposites presented the many aspects of Realism which can be seen as a nexus of somewhat contrasting influences.

Link to the page of the exhibition Realism. A symphony of Opposites

Surrealism and Non-Western Art

A Family Resemblance

June 13, 2014 — October 5, 2014

The Foundation is inaugurating its "Regards croisés" cycle of exhibitions with Surrealism and non-Western art. The cycle is designed around the desire to open up a dialogue between Western art and non-European cultures. Each civilization creates its own art as the vector of unique values and meanings. It is this encounter or the confrontation between two artistic cultures which is so fertile and meaningful. 

Link to the page of the exhibition Surrealism and Non-Western Art. A Family Resemblance


Mastery of Colour? Effusion of Colour!

December 22 , 2013 — April 22 , 2014

With divisionism, the Pierre Arnaud Foundation inaugurated its "Courants de la peinture européenne" exhibition cycle dedicated to Swiss painting confronted with the major international artistic movements that emerged between 1800 and 1950.

Link to the page of the exhibition Divisionism. Mastery of Colour? Effusion of Color!

  • Calendar
    • Exhibition:

      Installation in progress


      None on that day
  • Opening times
    • Art Center (during the exhibition times)

      Closed Mondays and Tuesdays


      Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
  • Contact
    • Pierre Arnaud Foundation
      Centre d’Art, Lens ⁄ Montana
      P.O. Box 39
      1, route de Crans
      1978 Lens, Switzerland

      Tel : 027 483 46 10

      Restaurant L’Indigo
      Tel: 027 483 46 11
  • Follow us

    • Newsletter subscription (french)

      © FPA


      All rights reserved. Without permission reproduction and any other use of the work besides the individual and private consultation is forbidden.