London: Extraordinary Saatchi Gallery suite at Hyatt Regency

Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill is currently partnering with the Saatchi Gallery on One Giant Leap, a series of three 2012 exhibitions. These exhibitions, the first of which opens today, bring pieces from the Saatchi Gallery’s collection into the hotel’s public spaces.

Since 1985, the Saatchi Gallery has been the UK‘s leading contemporary art collection. Like a number of other high-profile museums in London, the Saatchi Gallery never charges admission. And for its part, the Churchill has developed a tradition of working with art and artists. Since 2008, the Hyatt Regency property has been a hotel partner for the Frieze Art Fair.

One inarguable highlight of the exhibition is Martin Honert’s Riesen (Giants), a mesmerizing sculpture of two giant men who look like modern day hobos. They are positioned across from the hotel’s main elevator bank, looking far less menacing than their three meter (almost 10-foot) height might suggest in the abstract.

There are artworks on display by a number of contemporary artists, including a sizeable jesmonite sculpture of a hippopotamus by British artist Christina Mackie.

The real treat, however, is the Saatchi Gallery Suite, which is crammed with remarkable pieces by contemporary artists, including works by Carla Busuttil, Ronin Cho, and Jill Mason.

The suite’s most appealing feature in my view is Celine Fitoussi’s site-specific installation (see photo) in its en suite bathroom. Fitoussi has tiled the bathroom’s walls with bars of soap. Their gentle scent is fragrant enough to be sensed, very faintly, throughout the suite.

The suite will remain decked out in contemporary art (and classic Republic of Fritz Hansen furniture pieces) through April 30. Admittedly, it does not come cheap. The suite is is priced at £700 ($1100) per night. High rollers and splurging art fans, however, are in luck. Its short three-month season has not yet sold out.