Since its founding in 1996 the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst sees itself as a site of reflection as well as production. The moving in together with other art institutions and galleries in the spaces of a former Zurich brewery, the Löwenbrau-Areal, was at the same time the birth of the museum in its present-day form. The active cooperation in the process of art production and continual furthering of it with exhibition activities linked to the collection has determined the history of the museum.
Through a processual lightness the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst sets itself apart from its larger, more venerable colleagues. The museum focuses more on large-scale productions in close cooperation with the artists and less on that which is already tried and tested. In this manner the term contemporary art is understood as having a dynamic temporal purpose, of which the permanent exploration of peering forwards and backwards in time is inherent. Simultaneously the term embedment in a societal context and participation in a process of exchange and production of art is implied. The exhibitions at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst formulate art history as a moving process, which is open to investigations, corrections and variations. The integration of the collection into a lively environment contiguous and supporting contemporary art production directed at an open-minded public is a further concern of the museum.
The museum financed patron-like by the largest Swiss retailer Migros is a part of the Migros-Kulturprozent. Since 1957 purely voluntary commitment of a fixed amount of its turnover for the use of social and cultural purposes has been anchored Migros statutes.