First Look: The Art Collection at Park Hyatt New York

By Brienne Walsh

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Introducing ARTPHAIRE, a new digital publication curated by Park Hyatt Hotels, published by Bond Strategy and Influence, and launched in celebration of fall’s most important art shows. Inside ARTPHAIRE, you will find insights shared by the art world’s most forward-thinking visionaries, collectors and museums. From international show spotlights to exclusive interviews,we welcome you to explore enriching perspectives on the best in contemporary art from across the globe.

Park Hyatt New York, a new property located in the heart of midtown at 153 West 57th Street, recently opened. Consisting of 210 guest rooms as well as a restaurant, spa, executive board rooms and a white onyx-clad space for events, among other amenities, the property was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Christian de Portzamparc.

Special attention was given to the art collection, curated by Erica Samuels at Art & Advisory, LLC. It consists of over 350 pieces, ten of them specifically commissioned for the hotel.

The collection is meant to compliment the interior design by the New York and Toronto-based design firm Yabu Pushelberg. Modeled after a well-appointed New York home, the décor consists of hand chosen pieces in rich tones of gray, purple, silver and gold, many of them by New York-based designers such as lighting designer Lindsey Adelman. In such a home, one would expect to find the walls adorned with selections made by an avid collector familiar with both established and emerging galleries in New York. This is exactly the feel one gets while wandering around the Park Hyatt, which is outfitted with works by both well-known artists — Christian Marclay, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt and Richard Serra for example — and pieces by up-and-coming contemporary artists.

To compliment the muted feel of Yabu Pushelberg’s design, works in monochrome abound.  Guests to the second floor meeting room are treated to “Wild Grape Leaves I,” 2004 by Ellsworth Kelly, a lithograph depicting sketches of leaves. Two black-and-white etchings from Richard Serra’s “Between the Torus” and the “Sphere” series, created in 2006, and inspired by a site-specific sculpture of weathered steel in the Guggenheim Bilbao collection, hang in the second floor stairway landing. Elizabeth Peyton, known for her tiny, small-scale portraits, is represented in the executive powder room by “Thursday (Tony),” 2000, two gray-toned lithographic prints that depict a sleeping figure on a pearlescent ground.

Color is not absent. Those lucky enough to stay in one of the thirty-five double guest rooms outfitted with “West on Sunrise,” 2010, a specially commissioned print (edition of 50) by James Nares, will fall asleep under his wavy, expressionistic blue brushstrokes. Christian Marclay lends blue to the third floor sitting room where his “Memento (Metallica),” 2008, a press watercolor that recalls strings hanging from a ceiling — and could arguably represent unspooled reels of film, given Marclay’s background as a video artist. Located in the Presidential Corridor, Sol LeWitt’s “Eight Squares with a Different Color in Each Half Square (Divided Horizontally and Vertically),” 1980, is a grid of eight squares rendered in pale pastel colors.

Guests looking to be introduced to new artists will find plenty to spark their interest. “Tänzerin,” 2011, an abstract painting of dye, house paint and spray paint is a notable work by Rosy Keyser, an artist known for her masterful — and sometimes violent — interventions into the surface of a canvas. “(Untitled) Night Sky,” 2011 by Marc Swanson, a shimmering work of glitter and black enamel that hangs in the elevator landing on one of the guest floors, and recalls pictures of dark matter taken by the Hubble telescope, is another specially commissioned work for the hotel.

The feeling of being pulled into the realm of the heavens is heightened in “Gretchen and Eric” from “Men in Cities,” 1991 by Robert Longo, a set of two lithographs that depict a man and a woman, both of whom look as if they are being sucked up into the ether by some invisible hand. Specially commissioned sculptures include “Propeller Diptych,” 2011-2012, a set of two polished aluminum sculptures on pedestals by New York-based artist Rob Fischer that reside just beyond the check-in desk, and are redolent of the sculptures of Constantin Brancusi. A sculpture resembling slabs of rough clay pressed together to form a column by Sheree Hovsepian, an Iranian-born artist, will adorn the Presidential niche.

There’s all of this to discover – and so much more. Even if you’re not a guest, explore the collection by visiting The Back Room at One57, the hotel’s restaurant, for dinner or a drink at The Living Room, or treating yourself to a spa treatment at Spa Nalai on the top floor. You won’t be disappointed. Like the rest of the brand’s properties, the Park Hyatt New York sets itself apart with its attention to extraordinary contemporary art.

Installation view of Rob Fischer, "Propeller Diptych," 2011-2012. Polished aluminum and pedestal 118 x 16 and 112 x 16 inches. Special commission for Park Hyatt.

Installation view of Rob Fischer, “Propeller Diptych,” 2011-2012. Polished aluminum and pedestal 118 x 16 and 112 x 16 inches. Special commission for Park Hyatt.

Park Hyatt New York is now open at 153 West 57th Street, New York.