How does a world class luxury hotel complement its mesmerizing architecture and sophisticated interior design? With an impressive art collection that is not only a prominent feature for the guest experience, but also an enhancement to the overall aesthetic design.
According to General Manager Joachim Hartl, “at Conrad Algarve, art plays a significant role in our culture philosophy, creating a world of style which is both comfortable and luxurious. The artworks are a testimony to Algarvian culture, gastronomy and coastal produce.”
London- and Algarve-based ArtCatto Gallery was charged with the enviable task of commissioning artwork for the resort. Gallery owner Gillian Catto explains, “The brief was to find artwork that reflected the skill and the passion of Portuguese craftsmanship. Each commissioned piece was tailor-made and specially designed to be in keeping with an organic look and natural feel of the interior design concept.”
Following is a look at some of the pieces on display at Conrad Algarve…
HAND GILDED MIRRORS
Prominently positioned in the Lago Lounge are two monumental hand-painted and silver leafed mirrors. Two create these works, artist Mariana Diano first painted delicate flowers on the reverse of these large panes of glass. Five layers of silver leaf were then hand applied. This technique dating back to Roman times, is called verre églomisé, meaning gilded glass.
At the entrance to Gusto by Heinz Beck gourmet restaurant is a hand-forged metal, interlocking, circular sculpture. Sardines are the subject-matter of choice; an ideal representation of fine Portuguese cuisine. The skill of the metal work can be seen in the subtle tonality of the scales.
Stepping inside Gusto by Heinz Beck, another intriguing work captures your attention. It is another fish sculpture, indeed. Yet, this time, the work is created by using knives from famous French manufacturer Laguiole. Each knife is individually handcrafted and unique. The work is a precursor to the meal, in that each diner at Gusto by Heinz Beck is offered a selection of Laguiole knives to use with dinner.
(Pictured at Top) This work in the Louro restaurant continues the base relief motif. Solid geometric shapes create a textured arrangement similar to styles found in Moorish architecture and inlays. The variations in whites provide a delicate contrast from flat and structural patterns.
This lovely steel abstract piece can be found in the Conrad Spa. Hundreds of metal tags are arranged as a sculptural relief. The brown and beige palette mimics the color variations and layout of an ancient mosaic.
Five monumental terracotta vases are hand-crafted, each with its own patina and markings. Placed in various areas of the hotel, they are reminiscent of early Moorish urns; yet their large scale and unique patterns are distinctively contemporary.
A light relief of delicate paper flowers provides a combined sense of power and sensitivity. Each element of the piece is exquisitely cut to resemble the raised petals of flora typical of the region. The work is then displayed within a Perspex box.
Hanging steel sculptures adorn the walls of the conference center. Two panels of hand-forged steel filigree depict scene of fig tree branches. The works are oxidized in a controlled manner so that each leaf has a distinct rusty hue.
Oil paintings by Nuno Santiago are featured in the Louro Restaurant. They resound with earthy warmth of gold leaf, red, orange and yellows. Other works spread around the hotel are abstractions using cool blues and greens, as well as earthy hues and golds.
The above are just a taste of the art in the Conrad Algarve collection. Take time to stroll around the hotel. More works are found around each corner and down every hall. To learn more about the resort and to make a reservation, visit the Conrad Algarve website.
Estrada da Quinta do Lago
Phone: +351 289 350 700
Guest Fax: +351-289-350705
Art Catto Gallery is based in Loulé and features the diverse works of many international artists.