The Wheatleigh Hotel
Soon after moving from Paris to New York I met the owners of the Wheatleigh Hotel in Lenox, Mass. They were in the process of a complete renovation of this copy of a florentine palazzo, and were looking for artwork that would echo the european roots and american present of the building. Our early discussions led to a commission for a body of work of both large and intimate pieces which would map the modest home in Changy (see Changy to New York series) to the wheatleigh itself. As you would navigate the wheatleigh you would encounter paintings which represented what you would see in my own home, virtually mapping the two places onto each other.
The final commission for the Wheatleigh hotel, began in 1997, comprises 15 paintings in both private rooms and public spaces. These images center on a farm house in the center of France which we had owned since I was a child and which had formed the core of my work until then.
Two places are folded into one. The real space of the renovated Wheatleigh hotel and the painted and metaphorical place of the French farmhouse meet. The fabric of building and canvas fold into each other to create multiple layers of experience. The new Wheatleigh’s meeting of classic and contemporary (a modern design within a 19th century copy of a Florentine Palazzo) is echoed within the paintings whose evocation of place embrace both a classical technique and narrative structure, and a strong abstract construction. Each layer feeds the viewers experience to form a totality far exceeding its constituent parts. As you wander about Wheatleigh and discover its works you will build an image with echoes in your own memory. To each viewer a different totality.