12 luglio 2023
by Laura Antonini

The art of hospitality

Gran Canal 
Gran Canal 

When you ask foreign visitors why they choose Italy for a vacation, it’s always for one of two reasons. They come to see the incredible wealth of art scattered the breadth of the country and they come because they want to feel good. A winning combination that, of course, has not gone unnoticed by 5-star hospitality. In fact, the latest trend among large luxury hotel chains is to offer their guests an experience whereby merely “staying in the hotel” is in itself evocative of the magic of art. The lounges and gardens, parks and altanas, lobbies and loggias of these sophisticated residences thus become a series of local galleries where contemporary artists can exhibit their works. These temporary exhibitions give high-end travelers the opportunity to learn about established and emerging painters and photographers. And perhaps they will then decide to buy one of their works.

Florence • “Intrecci” all’Hotel Savoy

The Florence hotel owned by Rocco Forte Hotels is transformed into a temporary art gallery, offering its guests the opportunity to view and purchase one of the forty works by Maccapani Missoni that are part of ‘Intrecci’, an exhibition created in collaboration with the Artland gallery in Milan. Until September 15, the hotel is hosting the kaleidoscopic and abstract creations by Francesco Maccapani Missoni that combine craftsmanship, a sense of color and a love for stylized shapes.

The artist creates his textural paintings using thin strips of paper or polychrome satin webbing worked by hand on square looms, using the warp and weft technique, then finished with a brush-applied lacquer. The result is square works or art–ranging from 20x20 cm to 1.5x1.5 m–that are meticulously assembled, eye-capturing for their complexity and vitality thanks to the powerful, vibrant colors enhanced by the shimmering touch of satin.

Taormina • mythical Belmond

A project created in 2022 that returns to embellish the Belmond luxury residences. MITICO is the collaborative art project between Belmond and the internationally renowned art space Galleria Continua. For the 2023 season, contemporary art installations will be exhibited all over the world, including in Italy, in Sicily at Villa Sant'Andrea and Grand Hotel Timeo, and in Tuscany at Villa San Michele and Castello di Casole. 

On the beautiful shores of Villa Sant'Andrea, at the Belmond Hotel, Taormina Mare hosts Yoan Capote's ‘Family Portrait’ installation, an ode to the artist's lineage. Cuban-born Capote portrays the sea as a force of connection and isolation, a means of escape but also a barrier to be overcome. The work consists of framed mirrors that surround and reflect the striking landscape of the private bay. As the fragments bounce off the beautiful seabed, the reflections are intertwined with the unspoiled nature, raising questions of identity and belonging.    

At the Grand Hotel Timeo, artist Yoan Capote has installed a selection of sculptures, including handcuffs encircling an olive tree, titled Stress, Self-portrait, Speechless, On our shoulders, Deriva, and Urban Nature. The sculptures will be displayed in the hotel's vast gardens overlooking the imposing volcano Etna. This environment makes it impossible not to perceive the creative and destructive forces at play. These works represent clear acts of resistance, moments when the human instinct drives people to rebellion in the face of abandonment or domination by global powers.

Venice • The St. Regis, artist’s muse

For the Architecture Biennale 2023, The St. Regis Venice enriches its contemporary art collection with new works by Sam Baron at the Arts Bar, Gregor Hildebrandt at the Grand Salon, and new chandeliers in the Monet suites in collaboration with Berengo Studio, an international leader in glass art. The St. Regis Venice becomes a parallel venue for the glass art exhibition ‘Sacrum Unguentum’ by international artist Sam Baron, curated by Berengo Studio. The exhibition set up in the spaces of the Berengo Collection, the former San Marco pharmacy, while some of the artworks (Mundus, Hybri, Lunae and Biscus) will be displayed at the hotel's Arts Bar. 

Venice • Guardi al The Gritti Palace

The Gritti Palace, the home of an important Venetian family and one of Venice’s most famous doges, Andrea Gritti, until July 18, 2023, is hosting a special exhibition of paintings by Francesco Guardi, for which a major catalog has been produced by the artist's most authoritative scholars, in collaboration with Robilant+Voena. Francesco Guardi (Venice 1712 - 1793) painted a pair of works, around 1780, which are still considered his masterpieces today: Outward Voyage of the Bucintoro to San Nicolo del Lido and The Return of the Bucintoro to the Doge's Palace. 

The two paintings were probably produced for Robert Shuttleworth and remained in the possession of his heirs in Britain until the mid-20th century. They subsequently returned to Venice on only two occasions, for exhibitions devoted to Venetian scenes in 1967 and 1987. Now, more than twenty-five years later, Robilant +Voena, an art gallery based in London, Milan, Paris and New York, together with The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice, are bringing the works back to Venice.

Florence • Gallery Hotel Art The volatily of being

In Florence, the Lungarno Collection, with its distinct artistic flair, returns with a new photography exhibition that enriches the series of collaborations that Gallery Hotel Art in Vicolo dell'Oro began back in 2012. The walls of the lobby feature a selection of photographic works by Roberto Patella curated by Valentina Ciarallo, from a project by Mario Rescio, WiB Milan.

‘The Volatily of Being’ consists of a range of saturated images and close-up details. These are the hallmarks of the photography by Roberto Patella (born in 1984, he lives and works between Milan and New York, where he was born, though he is of Italian origin, from Altamura, inland Puglia, his parents' hometown), who builds stories through a mosaic of pieces in which each image explores a new intimate universe. Each shot reveals the experience of the artist, who perceives art as a way to search within and fully understand the human condition. It is the simple and common forms that become the preferred subjects of his investigation: the wilted stem of a flower, a glass beaker, the fold of a sheet of paper.

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