Esther Eppstein – message salon

Esther Eppstein – message salon

A driver of Swiss contemporary art: Esther Eppstein's unique art project in Zürich



Title Information

With contributions by  Nadine Olonetzky, and Kerim Seiler

1st edition

, 2016

Text English and German


688 pages, 195 color and 519 b/w illustrations

22 x 29.5 cm

ISBN 978-3-85881-456-2


Esther Eppstein, born 1967 in Zürich, is an artist and art educator and a pivotal figure in Switzerland’s cultural life. From 1996 she ran her "message salon", an off-space for experimental art that soon became a legend and an institution. The message salon found itself wandering, nomad-like, from one condemned building to another: After a time in one of Zurich’s lively working class neighborhoods it took to a camper van for 1998/99, spent 2001 to 2006 in a quieter residential part of town, and then found a home in the former clothing store Perla-Mode. The van was later, in 2001, purchased by the Migros Museum of Contemporary Art in Zürich for its permanent collection.

Eppstein offered Zurich’s art scene one of the wildest and most wonderful bouquets in all of its history. It was a cultural bee-hive humming with artists and art lovers. Eppstein not only initiated, and was host to, many art projects and events, she also documented art, life, and people at her extraordinary place. This new book is a richly illustrated album of the message salon’s entire existence and a gallery of people that were its essence. The essays tell the story and reflect on the significance of this unique social sculpture.


Esther Eppstein – message salon won a bronze medal in the 2018 German Photo Book Award.


Esther Eppstein receives the Swiss Grand Award for Art Prix Meret Oppenheim 2021.


Designed by Alexis Saile and Benjamin Sommerhalder.

Authors & Editors

Nadine Olonetzky

, born 1962 in Zürich, freelance cultural publicist and editor with Scheidegger & Spiess publishers. Contributes regularly to NZZ am Sonntag and to books and catalogues on photography, art, and art history. Member of Kontrast ( in Zürich.

Kerim Seiler

, born 1974, is a Swiss artist living and working in Zürich.