Moss & Lam has created artworks under the leadership of Deborah Moss for the Clement Restaurant in New York’s Peninsula Hotel. The pieces were devised to complement Yabu Pushelberg’s vision to establish a sense of place and a quintessential New York experience within the landmark hotel. Each of the three works underscores the Peninsula’s understated elegance while inspiring guests with the charm of New York’s countless stories.
The Colour Room is adorned with the intricately-carved Wild New York mural. The 70ft long piece wraps the oval space in a monochromatic yellow with the depth of turmeric, and tells the story of a whimsical walk through Central Park.
Deborah explains the inspiration behind the piece: “Whenever I’m in New York I marvel at the trees that flourish despite the concrete and cars. I wanted the mural to accentuate how the Clement offers an oasis of calm and elegance from the bustle of the city, just as Central Park offers a welcome respite.
“I imagined sitting in the very middle of the park and looking north, south, east and west. While you are in the park in the middle of this booming metropolis you can smell the trees, watch the birds and animals and almost forget where you are. I wanted to create that sense of luxury and displacement. To have access to both experiences is such a gift. I pushed it further depicting the unexpected by adding a second story of wild animals inhabiting the park as if they escaped the zoo.”
A team of 10 highly-skilled artisans etched and carved the mural by hand at Moss & Lam’s Toronto studio, before being shipped to New York.
Building on the theme of stories about life in New York, the installation for The Book Room is a direct response to Yabu Pushelberg’s request for a library. “We wanted to take this request a step further, creating something more abstract and dreamy than a literal room of books,” Deborah explains.
The result is a row of bookcases stuffed with ‘books’ with inverted spines. The pages face outwards, creating a sense of mystery about the stories that they contain and transforming the book from a communication tool into a sculpture or static image. The papers were handmade for this installation from linen rag with varied weights, textures and a subtle variety of colours to suit the softness of interiors.
In the Private Dining Room, Moss & Lam painted a gradation colour field with a large gestural rendering of a leafy branch, executed in soft brushstrokes. The artists applied the rich colours as washes onto on a series of screens that enclose the dining space, creating a quiet oasis from the bustling city.
Technically very different from the vibrant mural in the Colour Room, the calming colours and light watercolour techniques surround the guests and refers once again to the notion of nature in the park – but in a much more private and personal space.