The radical conceptual sculpture Turbulence by leading Venezuelan sculptor Rafael Barrios, makes a statement in the lobby and attracts tourists from across the world. The hotel has a rare and creatively curated collection of Asian art contributing to the vogue for contemporary works from the region, featuring pieces by Singaporean artist Tay Bak Koi, who is considered to be one of the leading figures of Southeast Asian modernism. Koi’s piece Gathering hangs in the hotel’s lobby, facing the guest lounge. For those with a penchant for contemporary American art, Harmony, the 27-foot-wide sculpture of interlocking waves, by installation artist Richard Sparling, takes pride of place in the driveway of the hotel.
Conrad New York’s collection of genre-defining contemporary art is a sight to behold, both for its guests and for visitors who come out of their way to see it. It comprises over 2,000 works of art, highlights being the dramatic site-specific commissions including Sol LeWitt’s extraordinary Loopy Doopy (Blue and Purple), used to striking effect in the Atrium, and Pat Steir’s Topsy Turvy in the Gallery Ballroom. The smaller lithographs by the likes of Elizabeth Peyton, Mary Heilman and Jeff Koons aren’t to be missed, nor are graphic masterpieces by internationally renowned artists Imi Knoebel and Julian Opie. The collection couldn’t have been in better hands, with many pieces selected in collaboration with New York’s Public Art Fund; it’s little surprise that the hotel is high on the itinerary
of New York’s discerning art lovers.
In the fashionable area of Minato, Tokyo, the city’s taste for all things eclectic has led to a calendar of rare and innovative contemporary art exhibitions in Conrad Tokyo. Artists take the spotlight with exhibitions curated by Norman H. Tolman, founder of The Tolman Collection, Japan’s most renowned contemporary art fund. Tolman has another exhibition planned for summer 2017. Speaking of the upcoming show, he says, “I want the Conrad lobby to look like a flame of color is flowing through it.” A sentiment which seems to be at the core of Conrad’s contemporary art vision.