Gallery owner Francesca Pia is known for her infallible eye for up-and-coming artists. She cannot explain why she chooses a particular artist: “I simply see a small spark”.
Pia herself became interested in art at a very early age. Having grown up in Worb, Canton Berne, as a young woman she experienced the grand era of the Kunsthalle Bern, learned the ropes in a Zurich gallery, and finally, in 1991, founded her own gallery in the Berne Old Town. Here she resolutely built up and promoted such names as Betty Woodman, Thomas Hirschhorn, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Mai-Thu Perret and Wade Guyton.
In 2007, Francesca Pia moved from Berne to Zurich, where she opened her gallery with an exhibition of works by Geneva artist Vidya Gastaldon. With her uncompromising instinct for quality, she is one of the few gallerists to work with so-called midcareer artists – those that have a well-developed body of work and are internationally known, but have not yet hit icon status.