Zurich Takes a Back Seat to No One as Benches Become a New Outdoor Art

Zurich was the first to put painted fiberglass cows on its streets
a few years ago, prompting Chicago and New York to gather their own arty herds, and spawning imitator-species in cities nationwide. The not-to-be-topped Swiss city now offers a new kind of artwork: BenchArt Fusing form and function, the artist-decorated benches will occupy public areas around the city beginning May 18.

Sense a trend afoot? Chicago, too, is planning a public art/public furniture exhibit this summer when it distributes a showroom of artful suites — sofa, chair, ottoman, and TV — around the city on June 1.