The exhibition and the preceding series of events take up the debate on climate change. Historical and contemporary, with art from the 18th century to the present.

Nature protection and sustainability


CHF 23.–/18.– (concessions and groups)
Free admission for members and children and young people under the age of 17. Tip : Senior (AHV) discounts every Wednesday


Note for groups

We look forward to welcoming you to the Kunsthaus. For organizational reasons, prior registration is required., +41 44 253 84 84

‘Earth Beats’ is an artists’ plea to preserve the Earth and its natural resources, born out of the urgency of the present situation. Nature, in the form of landscape painting, is firmly embedded in art history. In works from earlier centuries we generally encounter it as idyllic scenery, but since the 1970s it has been depicted with ever greater clarity as an entity threatened by human intervention and at the same time deserving of protection. What do we see in a moorland landscape by Robert Zünd that the artist himself did not? And do we appreciate the documentary value of a colour painting of a glacier from a time before photography? The exhibition explores artists’ engagement with the ‘Blue Planet’ and its vulnerability. It considers both the history of ideas and future scenarios for the sustainable use of natural resources.

Tony Cragg, The Green Leaf, 1983, Kunsthaus Zürich, Vereinigung Zürcher Kunstfreunde, Gruppe Junge Kunst, 1988, © 2021, ProLitteris, Zurich
Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, Scentless Plant Bug from Würenlingen, Canton Aargau, across from the Paul Scherrer Institut, 1989, © 2021, ProLitteris, Zurich
Albert Renger-Patzsch, Duisburg, cows at the mouth of the Ruhr, ca 1936, Museum Folkwang, Essen, © Albert Renger-Patzsch/Archiv Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Zülpich / 2021, ProLitteris, Zurich
Ana Mendieta, Silueta de Arena, 1978, © The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection LLC Courtesy/Galerie Lelong & Co. / 2021, ProLitteris, Zurich
Fischli / Weiss, Airport (Panam), 1989, Kunsthaus Zürich, Vereinigung Zürcher Kunstfreunde, Gruppe Junge Kunst, 1989, © Peter Fischli und David Weiss
Robert Zünd, Edge of the woods with flock of sheep, 1896–1897, Kunsthaus Zürich, Donated by Mr. and Mrs. Dürler-Tobler, 1940

Public guided tour

October and January every Wednesday, at 6 p.m.
November and February, every Thursday at 6 p.m.
December, every Sunday at 1 p.m.

Private guided tour

Group size: max. 20
Languages: German, English, French, Italian,
Cost: admission to the exhibition (group rate) + CHF 190.– (German) / CHF 220.– (other languages), duration: 1 hour

On show are some 120 works by Lothar Baumgarten, Vaughn Bell, Bernd und Hilla Becher, Joseph Beuys, Ursula Biemann, Nomin Bold, Laurence Bonvin, Herbert Brandl, Julian Charrière, Edward Theodore Compton, Gustave Courbet, Tony Cragg, Buby Durini, Thomas Fearnley, Peter Fischli David Weiss, Francesca Gabbiani, Ludwig Hess, Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, Ferdinand Hodler, Anna Jermolaewa, Ruth Kaaserer, Mikhail Karikis & Uriel Orlow, Armin Linke & Giulia Bruno & Giuseppe Ielasi, Richard Long, Marcus Maeder, Maurice Maggi, Ana Mendieta, Conrad Meyer, Johann Heinrich Meyer, Otto Morach, Harald Naegeli, Walter Niedermayr, Katie Paterson, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Oliver Ressler, Germaine Richier, Ed Ruscha, David Shrigley, Jules Spinatsch, Johann Gottfried Steffan, Annelies Štrba, Thomas Struth, Vivian Suter, Félix Vallotton, Auguste Veillon, Hans Beat Wieland, Caspar Wolf, Robert Zünd.

Curators Sandra Gianfreda and Cathérine Hug have combined works from the Kunsthaus Collection with loans centred around the themes of earth, air, water and fire to create an associative itinerary that takes in not just the Chipperfield building at the Kunsthaus but also the passage adorned with art by Olafur Eliasson, before delving into the heart of the Moser complex with Joseph Beuys’s ‘Olivestone’ in the Müller building and ending in a ‘glacier room’.


12 Episodes

31 Min


Earth Talks and Beats!

17 Min


We are what we wear

21 Min


What’s at stake

22 Min


Plant trees while searching the web

27 Min


Art and the politics of ecology

20 Min


How climate change is leading to pandemics

22 Min


Intelligent nature

21 Min


Climate change now!

20 Min


Glaciers – indicators of global warming

22 Min


Earth has to feed us all

23 Min


No fear of the future

24 Min


Good climate policy needs political regulation

In the context of the exhibition, the curators Sandra Gianfreda and Cathérine Hug have opted for a podcast instead of a conventional catalogue. In twelve episodes, renowned experts from many fields of knowledge have their say: the writer Philipp Blom, the fashion designer Orsola de Castro, the cultural scientist T. J. Demos, the climate activist Hanna Fischer, the curators Sandra Gianfreda and Cathérine Hug, the anthropologist Jeremy Narby, the Nobel Prize in Economy William D. Nordhaus, the glaciologist Samuel Nussbaumer, the manager in new technology Génica Schäfgen, the critic of globalization Vandana Shiva, the biologist Simone Sommer and the social scientist Harald Welzer. Marcus Maeder created the jingle as sound artist; editing and production by Christoph Keller, podcastlab.

Artists statements

11 Videos

4 Min


Ursula Biemann

4 Min


Tony Cragg

2 Min

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Anna Jermolewa

2 Min

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Mikhail Karikis

1 Min

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Nomin Bold

3 Min

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Maurice Maggi

1 Min


Francesca Gabbiani

2 Min

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Armin Linke

2 Min


Cornelia Hesse-Honegger

3 Min

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Uriel Orlow

1 Min

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Vaughn Bell

Earth Talks – event series

In the lead-up to the exhibition, the Kunsthaus staged a series of interdisciplinary events entitled ‘Earth Talks'. Well-known international figures from the fields of climate research, forestry, business, urban planning, mobility research, technology and philosophy as well as activists from the worlds of film and literature debated issues of nature protection and sustainability. The focus is on knowledge production and the development of concrete solutions, with the audience also getting involved as the events were live streamed.

Earth Talks livestreams replay

6 Videos

79 Min


Oszilot – experimental sound worlds

101 Min

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Green Living – talk with experts

8 Min

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Edible city – cooking event

89 Min


The Climate Quartet – talk with bestselling author

106 Min

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Intelligent nature and indigenous knowledge – talk with experts

75 Min

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The Great Green Wall – talk before the film premiere

‘Earth Beats’ is supported by Swiss Re – Partner for contemporary art and the Tarbaca Indigo Foundation; ‘Earth Talks’ by the D&K DubachKeller Foundation and the Dr. Georg and Josi Guggenheim Foundation.

Ill: Francesca Gabbiani, Mutation V (c), 2020, Kunsthaus Zürich, Print and Drawings Collection, Gifted by the artist, 2021 © Francesca Gabbiani, Courtesy of the artist, Innen Space Zurich, and Monica de Cardenas Gallery, © Francesca Gabbiani

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