Nestled in the revamped basement of Claridge’s is a new gallery space. So what surprises are in store?
By Reyhaan Day
Iconic hotel Claridge’s continues to assert itself as an integral part of Mayfair’s art scene, with the launch of Claridge’s ArtSpace: a new gallery space to exhibit both household names and emerging artists.
The gallery has opened its doors with an exhibition of works by Damien Hirst, one of the world’s best known artists. Titled ‘Sunshine’, the HENI-presented show features Hirst’s pipe cleaner animal sculptures and pieces from his colour chart series – with international art services company HENI accepting cryptocurrency as payment for artworks.
After Hirst’s exhibition ends, Claridge’s ArtSpace will welcome gallerists and artist friends to take up residence for rotating two-month exhibitions. Different curators will oversee each show, with an interactive programme of talks and events to be organised around the exhibitions. The gallery will offer free access to all.
Claridge’s ArtSpace has been designed by John Pawson, a long-time collaborator of Claridge’s investor Paddy McKillen. A new, elegant staircase has been designed to lead visitors into the hotel’s refurbished Victorian basement, where the gallery is situated. Four metre high ceilings and vast floorspace make this one of Mayfair’s most sizable galleries – simply finished with white walls and grey terrazzo floor, making it the perfect blank slate for visiting galleries to add their own character. Behind the simplicity, the attention to detail is present – with temperature control and dedicated art lighting making this a highly professional and sought-after space for pop-up exhibitions.
“The creation of Claridge’s ArtSpace is part of our ongoing commitment to the arts and continued determination and belief in creating groundbreaking and inspiring experiences for our guests,” said McKillen. “While we always respect our distinguished 200 year history, we look to continually evolve Claridge’s, staying relevant for the next generation.”