AB43 CONTEMPORARY – gallery and network, all in one – stems from the initiative of Heidi and Franz J. Leupi.
For almost twenty years now, Heidi and Franz J. Leupi have been closely involved in the art world, working with artists in Europe, North and South America and Asia, as well as organising exhibitions. Following projects of cultural exchange in Dubai they decided in 2003 to place the focus of their work firmly on the contemporary art scene of the Middle East and the Arab world. With their Swiss locations based in Emmenbruecke/Lucerne and Zurich, Heidi and Franz J. Leupi then founded the AB Gallery.
"AB" stands for ‘Across Borders’ and signifies commitment to their particular area of gallery activity. It is one which, in addition to art dealing, also includes promoting artists and engaging in cultural exchange between East and West. For this reason Heidi and Franz J. Leupi’s established the ORYX Foundation in 2011.
A richly composed programme of exhibitions and events in Switzerland, plus a well placed, on-site presence in their targeted countries, has given AB Gallery a highly distinctive profile. Today, it is regarded internationally as one of the top addresses for art from the Middle East and the Arab world, in particular for the contemporary art scene of Iran.
In 2016, the gallery relocated to Greater Zurich area to take up residence in the heritage-protected building complex "Diana" situated in an historical park close to the railway station of Thalwil/Zurich. Its former orangery offers exhibition rooms flooded with light while, in an adjacent out-building, there is space for a combined storage and show room as well as an artist’s studio. And in the villa the gallery’s administration is housed.
In line with this relocation in August 2016 the gallery has been re-named and to known in future as AB43 CONTEMPORARY.