The Rock Art Network
The Rock Art Network
The Rock Art Network
Bradshaw Foundation - Latest News
Art in caves
Tuesday 29 January 2019

An article by Oliver Wainwright on theguardian.com - Back to the art cave! Inside Switzerland's magical new gallery - reports on the new Muzeum Susch in Switzerland.

The rotating polished steel cylinder by Mirosław Bałka at Muzeum Susch Switzerland
The rotating polished steel cylinder by Mirosław Bałka at Muzeum Susch. Photograph: Studio Stefano Graziani/courtesy Muzeum Susch, Art Stations Foundation CH

'Pebbles from a nearby riverbed form a chunky cobbled floor in the entrance to the new Muzeum Susch in Switzerland - the project is the brainchild of Grażyna Kulczyk, former wife of the late billionaire industrialist Jan Kulczyk - as if a tributary once flowed through the building. Maybe it still does. The sound of dripping water can be heard coming from the end of a corridor, where a shiny trickle snakes down a bare rock face. There are other strange things going on.

Peer through one opening and you find a gnarled column of earth plunging down into the basement, as if it's the remains of an archaeological dig. Another passage is encrusted with viscous white goo, forming stringy stalactites that lead to a curious cave downstairs.

In this beguiling new gallery in the Engadin valley, it is hard to tell where nature ends and artifice begins. It is located on the site of a 12th-century monastery, in a rambling complex of buildings that formerly housed a vicarage, hospice and brewery, and the architects Chasper Schmidlinand and Lukas Voellmy have concocted a magical place where the historic fabric, contemporary art and the raw geology of the landscape collide.'

Article continues below
Article continues

Editor's note: Where art and geology collide; one wonders what our artistic ancestors would have made of this. Well, we know the caves were chosen - not all caves in Europe have Palaeolithic art - and the placement of the art was always considered - certain sections of the cave were selected and the art often incorporated the topography of the cave walls. It would seem that art and geology have always gone hand in hand.

Researchers to suspect that the Neanderthals embedded fireplaces in the structures to illuminate the cave
Parts of the walls show clear signs of fire damage, with the stalagmites blackened or reddened, and fractured from the heat, leading researchers to suspect that the Neanderthals embedded fireplaces in the structures to illuminate the cave. Image: Etienne Fabre/SSAC

And not just paintings and engravings; what about structures? I am reminded of the structure (above) discovered 300m from the entrance to the Bruniquel cave, near the Pyrenees mountains in southwest France, deemed to be the work of Neanderthal builders who lived in the region more than 100,000 years before modern humans set foot in Europe.

A 3D reconstruction of the structures in the Bruniquel cave.
A 3D reconstruction of the structures in the Bruniquel cave. Image: Xavier Muth/Get in Situ, Archeotransfert, Archeovision - SHS-3D

The structure is made from nearly 400 stalagmites stacked on top of one another to produce rudimentary walls on the cave floor.

Read more:
Neanderthal cave-structures discovered
Comment
Cave Painting
Dating questions challenge Neandertal cave art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 01 November 2019
Rock Art Network Colloquium 3
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 29 October 2019
Resilience of Australian rock art paint
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 07 October 2019
New publication by Derek Hodgson
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 03 September 2019
Charcoal drawings discovered near Brno
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 01 July 2019
Aurignacian dots of Chauvet
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 21 May 2019
Understanding the Great Murals of Baja California
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 14 May 2019
Discovery of figurative rock art in the Balkans
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 11 April 2019
New hand prints found in Altamira
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 08 February 2019
Art in caves
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 29 January 2019
How Art Began with Antony Gormley
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 24 January 2019
Christmas at the Cave of Pont d'Arc
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 10 December 2018
Hand stencils and their missing fingers
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 04 December 2018
Relating Ice Age art with astronomy
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 28 November 2018
Oldest known figurative cave art discovered in Borneo
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 08 November 2018
Baja California rock art film
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 27 September 2018
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
If you have enjoyed visiting this website
please consider adding a link © Bradshaw Foundation
 
 
ROCK ART NETWORK
Rock Art Network Bradshaw Foundation Getty Conservation Institute
CAVE PAINTINGS
Dating questions challenge Neandertal cave art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 01 November 2019
Rock Art Network Colloquium 3
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 29 October 2019
Resilience of Australian rock art paint
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 07 October 2019
New publication by Derek Hodgson
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 03 September 2019
Charcoal drawings discovered near Brno
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 01 July 2019
Aurignacian dots of Chauvet
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 21 May 2019
Understanding the Great Murals of Baja California
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 14 May 2019
Discovery of figurative rock art in the Balkans
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 11 April 2019
New hand prints found in Altamira
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 08 February 2019
Art in caves
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 29 January 2019
How Art Began with Antony Gormley
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 24 January 2019
Christmas at the Cave of Pont d'Arc
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 10 December 2018
Hand stencils and their missing fingers
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 04 December 2018
Relating Ice Age art with astronomy
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 28 November 2018
Oldest known figurative cave art discovered in Borneo
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 08 November 2018
Baja California rock art film
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 27 September 2018
Bradshaw Foundation Donate Friends
Support our work & become a
Friend of the Foundation
 
 
Bradshaw Foundation Facebook
 
Bradshaw Foundation YouTube
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store