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Off the shelf art on sale in Solothurn

A painting by Beat Hofer could be one of the bargains on offer in Solothurn.

Works of contemporary art can now be bought off the shelf in Solothurn following the opening of Switzerland's first art supermarket.

Except for the fact that it specialises in just one line of product and is also an exhibition centre, the store has all the characteristics of a modern supermarket – including cut-price offers.

Artists whose work is on display were invited to submit 40 signed and original examples of their work. “We asked for so many examples because the idea is to offer the public as wide a palette as possible,” says Peter Meyer, the man behind the idea. “But we also insist on a high level of quality.”

Meyer added that only paintings were on sale because exhibiting and selling sculptures would create real logistical and space problems.

Proceeds from sales are split on a 50-50 basis between artist and supermarket. “For us, this covers our personnel and publicity costs as well as the cost of the premises,” said Meyer. “For the artists, it’s the price to pay for six weeks of exhibiting and selling their works.”

One of the aims is to bring art to a new and wider public by showing that original paintings can be affordable. Prices at the supermarket, which is open until January 6, range from SFr99 to SFr599.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR