How a Group Exhibition at the Peninsula New York Helps Makes Guests (and the Public) Feel at Home

The show at the luxury hotel features works by artists such as Do Ho Suh, Catherine Opie, and Angel Otero.

Do Ho Suh, Cause & Effect (2007). Photo courtesy the Peninsula New York.
Do Ho Suh, Cause & Effect (2007). Photo courtesy the Peninsula New York.

Last May, ahead of the opening of the Frieze art fair on Randall’s Island, the Peninsula New York decided to do something special for art lovers.

Ahead of the fair, the property, which is one of the city’s most luxurious art-centric hotels, debuted a group exhibition in conjunction with Lehmann Maupin featuring works by a diverse range of artists. Among them were Do Ho Suh, the Korean sculptor and installation artist, Catherine Opie, the Los Angeles-based photographer, and Angel Otero, the Puerto Rican painter. 

The show, titled “Home,” examines how these artists and others have explored the themes of home, identity, and community—and how those themes also reflect the Peninsula’s core values and commitment to celebrating family and heritage.

Ashley Bickerton, The Edge Of Things (1959). Photo courtesy the Peninsula New York.

Ashley Bickerton, The Edge of Things (1993). Photo courtesy the Peninsula New York.

While the exhibition was originally intended to end this fall, it was recently extended through March 30, 2020, due to an overwhelmingly positive response from hotel guests and visitors alike. (The exhibition is open to the public.)

“We have so many visitors who come in to see the art, and are in awe of the scale of this exhibition in particular,” says Jonathan Crook, the Peninsula New York’s general manager.

“As we’ve continued to deepen our commitment to the arts community globally, we’ve found that many of our guests are collectors, curators, artists, and philanthropists who live with contemporary art in their daily lives. They have really enjoyed seeing museum-quality artworks in their home [with us] while they are traveling. Some have even shared that they love seeing the art in a non-traditional space, and are excited to visit us each year to discover new artists.”  

Do Ho Suh, Cause & Effect (2007). Photo courtesy the Peninsula New York.

A close-up shot of Do Ho Suh’s Cause & Effect (2007). Photo courtesy the Peninsula New York.

In the past year, the Peninsula has ramped up its arts programming around the world.

This spring, in conjunction with Art Basel Hong Kong, the Peninsula announced the launch of its Art in Resonance program. The project presents a traveling exhibition at all 10 of its global properties over the course of the next few years. Among the works on view are original pieces by artists such as Iván Navarro, Janet Echelman, and Timothy Paul Myers, plus works by local talents.

Meanwhile, at the Peninsula New York, a series of artists’ talks and collectors’ dinners have been organized in partnership with several arts organizations based in the city. 

Do Ho Suh, Corridor-4, Wielandstr (2015). Photo courtesy the Peninsula New York

Do Ho Suh, Wielandstr. 18, 12159 Berlin-3 Corridors (2011). Photo courtesy the Peninsula New York

“Home” was inspired by Suh’s recent exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. Two of his works adorn the Peninsula’s public spaces: his famous installation Wielandstr. 18, 12159 Berlin-3 Corridors (2011), a scaled reproduction of a corridor in his former Berlin apartment made from fabric, on view in the Palm Court; and Cause & Effect (2007), a cone-shaped chandelier made of hundreds of small acrylic figurines, stacked one atop another.

The corridor work is part of the artist’s “fabric sculpture” series, which explores the meaning of home and identity. The chandelier, hung from the ceiling of the Peninsula New York’s Gotham Lounge, symbolizes the strength of community.

“Suh’s [works] are inspiring and poetic,” Crook says. “The idea of longing for home, and the connection between physical spaces and memory resonated with us.”

Catherine Opie, Glenn (left), Kara (middle), Aggie (right) (2019). Photo courtesy The Peninsula New York.

Catherine Opie, Glenn (left); Kara (middle); Aggie (right) (2019). Photo courtesy the Peninsula New York.

Elsewhere, striking large-scale works by Heidi Bucher examine how human bodies occupy physical space. “We found intense synergy between Heidi Bucher’s work and Do Ho Suh’s, and the rest came together,” Crook says.

“Angel Otero’s work is largely influenced by identity and heritage through memories and family memorabilia. The pieces we have on view explore identity as well as form, color, and line. That led us to Ashley Bickerton, who made the incredible corral sculpture, The Edge of Things (1993), an early work created by the artist after he relocated to Bali. We also wouldn’t be able to show an exhibition exploring identity without including the legendary work of Catherine Opie. The subjects of her three photographs are Glenn Ligon, Kara Walker, and Agnes Gund, all of whom are prominent art-world figures.”

Heidi Bucher, Untitled (1986). Photo courtesy the Peninsula New York.

Heidi Bucher, Untitled (1986). Photo courtesy the Peninsula New York.

We are personally very proud to have the opportunity to make private works accessible to the public for viewing,” Crook says.

“The Peninsula New York will exhibit annually throughout the public spaces of the hotel with a new program launching in the spring. Furthermore, the Art in Resonance program directly commissions emerging and mid-career artists, providing critical financial and logistical support. Art in Resonance will resume its travels in 2020 in the spring with new installations in Hong Kong during Art Basel, and, in parallel, at the Peninsula Tokyo from April onward.”

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