Brooklyn’s Ever-Cool Wythe Hotel Now Spotlights Local Artists
Brooklyn’s Wythe Hotel—featured on our annual “It List” shortly after opening—recently unveiled new works by up-and-coming artists. The factory-turned-hotel has plenty of art and design cachet, having opened in 2012 with major commissions by local artists Tom Fruin, Steve ESPO Powers, and Duke Riley, plus custom Brooklyn toile wallpaper by innovative print lab Flavor Paper. Still, it wasn’t until Kimia Ferdowsi Kline (a talented painter in her own right) took on the role of art curator a year and a half ago that Wythe Hotel’s collection really began to blossom. We stopped by this week to chat with her and see some of the artwork.
Sixteen of the hotel’s 70 rooms now feature original paintings, photography, drawings, and woodblock prints, a stop-motion animation installation, and even framed poetry written in-residence. Art in hotels is nothing new, of course. For the past several years, we’ve taken note of luxury hotels hanging world-class art in their lobbies. While any boutique hotel could hang up some Damian Hirst paintings and call it a day, what we find exciting about the Wythe Hotel’s collection is that it supports emerging and mid-career artists, most of whom are local. The owners aim to put art in every room and, what’s more, every three to four months they host a public opening, turning the hip hotel into a pseudo gallery.
A fifth-floor guest room
A bedroom featuring one of four variations on Flavor Paper’s Brooklyn toile wallpaper, designed by Dan Funderburgh.
Wythe Hotel's next opening will exhibit sketches by Brad Kahlhamer in mid-April. Be sure to follow @wythehotel on Instagram for updates.
Landscape by Youngna Park
A landscape by Brooklyn-based photographer Youngna Park hangs in one of the fifth-floor guest rooms. “A significant part of what I look for when picking artwork is the ability of our guests to connect to the creative process of the artist and have access to the story behind how the artwork is made or inspired,” said Kline.
Photo by Carrie Schneider
This dark, moody photo by Carrie Schneider hangs above a marble table in a guest room.
Photograph by Wilmot Kidd
Brooklyn-based photographer Wilmot Kidd gets a lot of his shots by driving around before sunrise.
Mikael Kennedy’s polaroid series
Mikael Kennedy’s polaroid series was shot during his residency. The images showcase Wythe Hotel’s rooms, public spaces, and Reynard’s kitchen. His photos were compiled in a limited-edition book available in the minibars alongside Kings County bourbon, Mast Brothers chocolate bars, and other cult favorites by local purveyors. It’s this homegrown sensibility that keeps us coming back to Brooklyn’s hippest hotel again and again.
Sketch by Julia Clift
A Study for The Invisible Music by Julia Clift, a Philadelphia-based artist, is poised next to the bed. The finished painting also hangs in the room.
Drawing by Louise Despont
Brooklyn-based artist Louise Despont creates intricate drawings with geometric motifs on antique ledger book pages.
Painting by Julia Clift
The Invisible Music by Julia Clift hangs above a leather club chair.
Drawing by Duke Riley
In the lobby, next to the entrance to Andrew Tarlow’s farm-to-table restaurant Reynard, Duke Riley’s elaborate drawing depicts forgotten events from Brooklyn’s history.