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New Art Collection Arrives at Four Seasons Hotel in Washington
Helen Frankenthaler’s 1998 Bilbao.

WASHINGTON, DC.- Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC has unveiled a completely new art collection selected exclusively for the Hotel. Each work of art was painstakingly chosen to blend seamlessly with the interior’s contemporary surroundings while comprising a striking and visually compelling collection. This sophisticated and modern collection respects the unique history of the significant artwork previously displayed in the Hotel.

“Being familiar with the Hotel’s previous collection, we wanted to create a new compilation that was unique, but still had the feel of someone’s personal art collection and not just something decorative,” says Sarah Hall-Smith, vice president of art consulting and resources for Soho Myraid Gallery. She is directly responsible for selecting all of the paintings. “At the same time, we included some collectibles that both national and international guests would recognise.”

The collection is heavily representative of American artists and is composed of more than 1,650 pieces, 400 of which are premier, blue chip and commissioned pieces for the public spaces and corridors. Among the more prominent public area pieces are works by Roni Stretch, Helen Frankenthaler, Andy Warhol, Robert Mangold, Ron Richmond, Andrea Rosenberg and Andrei Petrov. These were purchased from private collections and exclusive galleries throughout the United States.

“Art in a public space can really create a sense of place; a place that people will remember and want to come back to. Good art makes people stand back and take a moment to ponder, and hopefully provokes some emotion,” states Tracy Chevalier, senior vice president for Soho Myraid Gallery, who is also responsible for putting the collection together. “I think this collection does just that. From the time you enter the Hotel and see the Roni Stretch portraits to the artwork that is included in the guestrooms, we have created a collection that is unique and thoughtful.”

Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC Art Collection Highlights
Guests walking into the Hotel’s lobby – recently redesigned by world-renowned designer Pierre-Yves Rochon – will immediately encounter the largest installation along the lobby gallery wall. A commissioned series by Roni Stretch, an English artist residing in Los Angeles, evokes the essential composition of America featuring five ethnic faces, each with a unique appearance: Julia the American Indian, Sara the all-American, Gary the English/Irish, Tiffany the French/Russian, and Fabiana the Mexican. This compilation was selected specifically for Four Seasons Hotel Washington due to its international clientele. These human faces were painted in black and white and then layered with gray, green or white to create the subtly realistic abstract work.

After admiring these shadowy figures, guests can appreciate the work of Helen Frankenthaler, an American abstract expressionist painter who introduced the soak-stain technique (painting directly onto an unprepared canvas, allowing the material to absorb the colour) and was awarded the 2001 National Medal of Arts. Frankenthaler’s 1998 Bilbao, a vibrant piece set behind the reception desk, reaches out to guests with its bold orange and yellow colours.

Andy Warhol’s 1986 rare screen print trial proof Indian Head Nickel, created a year before his death, greets guests while they are enjoying their complimentary morning coffee or tea in the lobby. Warhol, born in Pittsburgh, was a multi-talented artist whose creativity expanded into filmmaking, music, and writing. He also reinvented the idea of society portraits and used his illustration and advertising designer’s skills to create pop art canvases and sculptures.

Warhol’s piece is in close proximity to American minimalist artist Robert Mangold’s Curved Plane/Figure I. Mangold’s work consists of simple elements put together through complex means that often appear as objects rather than images.

Another American artist who uses minimalist settings and symbolic imagery is Ron Richmond. His piece Pool and Palms is displayed above Pierre-Yves Rochon’s grand staircase, and can be seen by guests as they enter BOURBON STEAK or travel down one level to Seasons Restaurant. This piece is set opposite a spectacular two-story custom Venetian mirror and fits in seamlessly with Rochon’s vision of combining art and garden. Richmond’s work protrays a message of hope, peace, and contemplation and is symbolic both in subject matter and in form.

Following the grand staircase down to Seasons Restaurant’s landing, guests will notice New York artist Andrea Rosenberg’s Untitled No. 3, with its yellow background and what appear to be two flowers created with paper. Rosenberg uses charcoal, graphite and gouache to produce fragile yet powerful images.

Last but not least is Washington, DC’s own Andrei Petrov, whose paintings are rarely symmetrical but always carefully balanced. Petrov’s Glimmer of Hope is displayed near the ballroom. Eyes immediately gravitate towards the centre of the canvas, where mixtures of vivid oranges and yellows combine. He believes that art should not be explained, but interpreted, allowing for the mystery to remain. The ambiguity can also be witnessed in his Moment of Clarity, located in the Health Club stairway.

Four Seasons Hotel | Sarah Hall-Smith | Roni Stretch | Helen Frankenthaler | Andy Warhol |

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