Obrist, Warhol and Emin in your hotel room

The Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden's new exhibition, Room Service, extends its reach to the town's hotels
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William Eggleston Untitled (Motel Room with Fluorescents), from The Los Alamos-Portfolio, 1965-1968, Dye-transfer-print, © Eggleston Artistic Trust, Courtesy Cheim & Read, New York / Sammlung Museum Folkwang, Essen. From Room Service
William Eggleston Untitled (Motel Room with Fluorescents), from The Los Alamos-Portfolio, 1965-1968, Dye-transfer-print, © Eggleston Artistic Trust, Courtesy Cheim & Read, New York / Sammlung Museum Folkwang, Essen. From Room Service

Room Service, the current show at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden in southern Germany takes hotels as its theme. Within the exhibition space, curators reach back to John Constable's paintings of Brighton's seafront hotels and Max Beckmann's lobby studies, right up to Martin Kippenberger's hotel-stationery drawings, Thomas Demand's tricksy hotel shots, and the photographic diptychs Sophie Calle made when she worked as a chambermaid in Venice.

 

Thomas Demand Zimmer/Room, 1996, chromogener Farbdruck, © VG Bild-Kunst Bonn 2014, Courtesy Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brüssels. From Room Service
Thomas Demand Zimmer/Room, 1996, chromogener Farbdruck, © VG Bild-Kunst Bonn 2014, Courtesy Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brüssels. From Room Service

Yet the Kunsthalle, taking this theme a stage further, has also brought art to the hotels of this popular spa town. In a room at the Steigenberger Europäischer Hof, the American performance artist Ann Liv Young puts on a turn as Sherry, a blowsy southern belle providing half-hour 'sherapy' sessions.

 

At the Dorint Maison Messmer Baden-Baden renowned curator and Phaidon author Hans Ulrich Obrist has recreated a version of his 1993 hotel exhibition. Back then, Obrist installed an impromptu exhibition featuring works by 70 well-known artists in a modest hotel room. For this new installation, Obrist has informed the front desk that he's invited artists such as Tracey Emin, Rosemarie Trockel, and Franz Erhard Walther to contribute works to his show.

 

Candida Höfer Kurmittelhaus Wenningstedt I, 1979, © Candida Höfer, VG-Bild Kunst Bonn 2014. Courtesy Candida Höfer und Galerie Johnen, Berlin. From Room Service
Candida Höfer Kurmittelhaus Wenningstedt I, 1979, © Candida Höfer, VG-Bild Kunst Bonn 2014. Courtesy Candida Höfer und Galerie Johnen, Berlin. From Room Service

Meanwhile, at the Belle Epoque, there's an exhibition themed around Andy Warhol's great underground, hotel-themed film Chelsea Girls; and in the foyer of the Brenners Park-Hotel and Spa, there's a Cindy Sherman exhibition featuring, as the Kunsthalle put it, "a milieu study of individuals struggling for youthful beauty and social status."

 

 

Sounds like a treat for regular gallery goers, though we can't help but wonder how it will go down with the town's less arty holiday makers. For more on the exhibition, which runs until 22 June, go here.

For greater insight into Warhol's life and work, take a look at our books; Cindy Sherman is the subject of a great new Phaidon Focus book; Sophie Calle appears in Art and Feminism, William Eggleston appears in our new book, Photography Today; and Hans Ulrich Obrist contributed to our Ai Weiwei, Pipilotti Rist and Defining Contemporary Art books. And of course, if you're traveling anywhere soon, do download a Wallpaper guide. You can buy them all from the people who made them, here.


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