One of the most exclusive and remarkable aspects of The Fife Arms Hotel is the display of marvellous artwork that adorns its walls. A showcase of contemporary and topical art by the owners Iwan Hauser and Manuela Wirth, otherwise known as Hauser + Wirth. Founded in 1992 the art gallery originally began in Zurich, however, now hosts galleries in Hong Kong, London, New York, St Moritz, Gstaad and Los Angeles. The Fife Arms has become an exceptional location that exhibits a combination of artwork such as an original Picasso, along with commissioned pieces specifically for the hotel. It’s really is a unique experience to walk around and absorb some of the most spectacular and astounding art in a rural location at the heart of the Scottish Highlands.
Here I share a few of my favourite pieces:
As you enter the hotel you are instantly drawn to the lively bold orange wall within the reception and an original Lucian Freud portrait named Child Portrait. The grandson of Sigmund Freud, Lucian is famed for his oil on canvas portraits and this piece depicts his eldest daughter Annie. Within the reception there also features a self-playing piano by Los Angeles artist Mark Bradford and his collaboration with the composer Robert Glasper named Apollo/ Still Shining. Bradford has used bleach to stain the surface of the piano, creating translucent fluid shapes and patterns that are surprising and out of the ordinary.
A special custom chandelier with interlocking glass antlers and bagpipe drones hangs psychedelically above the grand staircase within The Fire Arms reception. Commissioned by artist Richard Jackson, Red Deer Chandelier is a humorous interpretation of an archetypal chandelier. Above this chandelier on the wall is a large-scale painting by British artist Keith Tyson. Named Still life with Rose Vase and Seashell this piece is an interpretation of typical floral still life, but in this case, there is an altered perspective and conceptual framework that results in the artwork prominently standing out.
Indian artist Subodh Gupta has created Chandelier for Fife Arms in which abundant objects such as pans, bottles and pails are removed from their original use and instead attached to a stainless-steel structure to create an impressive and ostentatious chandelier above a dining table. In the courtyard of the Fife Arms there features a large-scale installation by French artist Louise Bourgeois. Spider is a haunting image of a predator and protector, in Bourgeois’ own words it is an ode to her mother and family life, evoking emotional traumas form her childhood.
Another distinct commission for the Fife Arms is the stunning wall mural in the Clunie Dining Room by Argentinian artist Guillermo Kuitca. Inspired by the River Dee that runs alongside the Fife Arms, this mural is a patchwork of moody highland hues and abstract forms and shapes that reminds us of the rocky and coursing waters of the river.