“Art” hotels abound these days, with rooms decorated by artists, rooms named after artists, etc., but the new Drawing Hotel in Paris’s first arrondissement takes the idea a step further.
Drawing – long neglected as the poor cousin of painting, has been back in the limelight lately, with lots of exhibitions, galleries and art fairs devoted to it popping up – and the Drawing Hotel not only has each of its six floors decorated by a talented artist, but also has a real exhibition space, the Drawing Lab, in its basement for regular contemporary drawing shows.
The current exhibition, “Strings” (through May 20, 2017) features the work of Keita Mori, who has literally strung the walls and ceiling of the
gallery with both abstract and realistic drawings made with threads. The nonprofit gallery’s three-month shows are free and open to the public. Like Mori, artists chosen for forthcoming shows will be have carte blanche to do what they will with the entire space.
The idea for both the hotel and the gallery came from Christine Phal, founder of the Drawing Now art fair, which takes place in March in Paris every year.
The hallway decoration on each floor is entirely different, depending on the style of the artist. On the fifth floor, for example, the floors, walls and ceilings of the hallway are covered with trompe l’œil molding and bookshelves drawn
by Thomas Broomé; the forms are created by lettered titles of real books or the names of what they represent (“molding” for molding, “wall” for a wall, and so on).
My favorite was the third-floor hallway, hung
with Clément Bagot’s brilliantly colored drawings, which at first glance look like starbursts or maps of the universe but on closer inspection resemble complex computer circuitry.
The rooms and suites are smallish but simply, comfortably and individually decorated, with splashes of bright color here and there, and
discreet touches by the artists, usually on the bed’s headboard. Some have glass-walled bathrooms.
The hotel’s lobby shop is full of drawing materials, fine pens, clever objects like a cloth map of Paris that can be crumpled up and stuffed in a pocket rather than carefully folded, and many other unusual gift ideas.
Drawing Hotel: 17, rue de Richelieu, 75001 Paris. Métro: Pyramides or Palais Royal–Musée du Louvre. Tel.: 01 73 62 11 11. www.drawinghotel.com