Ausstellungsansicht Alex Zürcher

Im Fluss – painting by Alex Zürcher

Guest Exhibition

From pike to grayling to trout: Over 40 pictures by Bernese painter Alex Zürcher are currently on display at the NMBE. They provide an artistic insight into endangered native underwater life. The charity exhibition was created in collaboration with the Swiss Fish Center.

So close and yet so strange: most people only know our fish from photos – or cooked on a plate. Anyone who has had the chance to contemplate fish underwater, is fascinated by their elegance and colourful splendour. This is also what happened to Bernese painter and passionate fisherman Alex Zürcher. For decades, he has been documenting the diversity of underwater life on canvas. Zürcher takes us into the local rivers and lakes. And he introduces us to the mysterious finned creatures; the majestic pike, for example, the nimble brown trout or the mystical tench.

After the last ice age, our Alps became a paradise for fish. Glacial water feeds countless lakes, streams and rivers, which flow into four different seas via the large river systems. Trout, pike, barbel, catfish, zander, burbot, eel, grayling, bitterling, loach, nase, dace, bog goby, agnetta, agone, bullhead, sunbleak... There are around 130 species of fish in this country – most of which only experts know the names of.

Swiss Fish Centre – a deep insight into the underwater world

But Switzerland is no longer a fish paradise: half of the species are endangered or already extinct. 60 per cent of native fish species are on the Red List. The main reason for this is the condition of the waters.

That is why the Swiss Fish Centre Foundation wants to make fish and many other aquatic creatures visible in the new centre – and provide a fascinating insight into the otherwise hidden underwater world and into fishing. The adventure, education and research centre is planned on a 5000 square metre site directly on lake Moossee. The Swiss Fish Centre, the equivalent of the Swiss Ornithological Institute for the underwater world, will be built over the next few years.

The painter Alex Zürcher is supporting the construction of the Swiss Fish Centre. The proceeds from the sale of his watercolor and acrylic paintings will go entirely to the project.




Adrian Aeschlimann (Fischzentrum Schweiz, FZS), Stephan Affolter (FZS), Alex Zürcher

Projektleitung NMBE

Simon Jäggi, Katharina Weistroffer


Stephan Affolter, Simon Jäggi, Adrian Aeschlimann, Alex Zürcher


Max Henschel (, Uldry AG (


Jonas Oehrli

Film Eingangsvitrine:

Michel Roggo

Technik und Bauten:

Christian Bähler, Micha Ribeli

Dank an:

Paul Reichardt