Le Meurice: a palace that loves contemporary art
Since it opened in 1835, Le Meurice, a prestigious Parisian palace, has always had close links with poets, musicians, and contemporary painters. Picasso, Dali, Hemingway, Warhol, Coco Chanel and Bob Dylan forged its history and contributed to shaping the identity of this iconic venue. Drawing on its rich past, in 2008 the hotel launched the Meurice Prize for Contemporary Art. With a prize of 20,000 euros, this award supports a young artist and his or her gallery to help them become internationally known. Open to paintings, sculpture, photography or videos, each year it awards a project with an international outlook.
This year’s winner, Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil, is also the Contemporary Art Biennial’s guest, with his performance, Will Keep a Light Burning. This artiste devotes a large part of his work to communication technologies and has a critical reflection upon their use. Subtle work, which questions view points, honored by the Biennial and this led him to win the Meurice Prize for Contemporary Art in 2009/2010.
An Art Concierge at the Royal Monceau-Raffles Paris
Another palace, but the same love of art: the Royal Monceau-Raffles Paris gives its guests Art Concierge services. A unique role, imagined by Philippe Starck, the designer, when he renovated the palace. Julie Eugene thus gives advice nearly every day to her guests who are looking for exhibitions to attend or works of art to acquire, proposes cultural activities for children or takes them on tours with artistic insights. With a collection of 350 works of art, the hotel is already a museum in its own right, with a bookshop and an art gallery on the ground floor. Art Concierge, a unique job serving clients who are seeking experience and exceptionalness: visits of private collections, invitations to grand openings or privatization of museums at night, everything possible is done to give guests ideal conditions to see new creations.
Sleeping like an artist at the Beaumont Hotel in London
The most prestigious hotels in the world also are seeing a rise in very specific guests: collectors, art gallery owners and museum directors who don’t hesitate to travel the world to visit international contemporary art fairs. This business and leisure client base thus forces hotels to imagine stays which perfectly match their passion. As it wanted to give its guests a total immersion experience, the Beaumont Hotel in London commissioned a room from the sculptor Antony Gormley that is a work of art in its own right, both a monumental sculpture and an extension of the hotel. He gave it the shape of his own geometricized body, kneeling on the hotel roof.
This intimate room, all in black and white, sculpted by light, simply named “Room”, looks towards the sky and invites its guests to meditate. After having spent a night both inside themselves and the artist’s imaginary creation, guests can then extend this experience through private tours: Joshua White, a professor at the Christie School and the Sotheby Institute who is a benchmark in contemporary art, gives discerning patrons and professionals his singular vision of contemporary art.
Photo: The Beaumont, “Room” by Antony Gormley © Ron Ellis- Shutterstock
Also read: Are hotels tomorrow’s art galleries?