The New York Times, Jorge Pardo: A Hotel Where Every Room Is a Work of Art

 One of Pardo’s painted doors, inspired by a Japanese scroll painting from the Langen Foundation. Credit Céline Clanet

One of Pardo’s painted doors, inspired by a Japanese scroll painting from the Langen Foundation. Credit Céline Clanet

The artist Jorge Pardo designed the interiors of L’Arlatan, which opens next month in Arles, France.

The artist Jorge Pardo makes work that not only lives outside the confines of the traditional white cube but also interrogates notions of space and setting and our place within them. One of his best-known pieces dates to 1998, when, for a show with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, he designed a single-story house in the city’s Cypress Park neighborhood and filled it with objects of his own making. Once the exhibition closed, Pardo moved in. “I’m essentially appropriating architecture,” says Pardo, who now lives in Mérida, Mexico, in another structure that could be considered both art piece and functional living space — a “birdcage in the jungle” complete with a hand-painted mural and ovoid pendant lights.

Starting next month at L’Arlatan hotel in the Provençal city of Arles, France, for which Pardo designed the interiors, guests can live like the artist. The hotel is owned by Maja Hoffmann, a Swiss entrepreneur and art patron who grew up outside Arles in the Camargue. She is partly responsible for reviving the area, once a source of inspiration for Vincent van Gogh (and recently, the setting for Gucci’s 2019 resort collection), with her forthcoming 20-acre cultural center, Luma Arles, as well as the 19-room Hôtel du Cloître, a former convent reimagined by India Mahdavi. Hoffmann’s new hotel, set in a 15th-century palace, is nearby, mere steps from the Rhône. From the start, Hoffmann knew she wanted Pardo — with whom she’s worked before — to be the one to fill the hotel’s dark and neglected rooms with, as she says, “lightness and joy.”

By Gisela Williams

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