The Audley: Artfarm’s new Mayfair pub is an art triumph

The Audley: a very first look inside Artfarm’s new artwork-filled Mayfair pub

For its to start with London job, hospitality firm Artfarm has presented new lifestyle to the 18th-century Audley Community Household which opens these days in Mayfair. We provide a initial seem inside the new pub, which is a hub for heritage, community, hospitality and environment-class contemporary artwork

The Audley, in Anglo Saxon, implies ‘the outdated friend’, an apt name for a pub that has proudly occupied a key corner plot in the heart of London’s Mayfair considering that 1888. 

Now, this outdated good friend has been provided new existence by Artfarm, the hospitality and growth business launched in 2014 by gallerists Manuela and Iwan Wirth, and whose swiftly-expanding portfolio now consists of The Fife Arms in Braemar, Scotland, the Roth Bar & Grill at Hauser & Wirth’s art centre in Somerset, the Manuela restaurant in Los Angeles, and the approaching revival of London’s storied Groucho Club. 

Significantly from a run-of-the-mill facelift, The Audley will offer 3 distinct, artwork-led ordeals: a avenue-amount public dwelling (now open), the very first-flooring Mount St Restaurant and 4 spaces on the higher three flooring which will be offered for personal employ and will open this Autumn. 

For Ewan Venters, CEO of Hauser & Wirth and Artfarm, the outlined Victorian setting up was a purely natural match for Artfarm’s initially London job. ‘We experienced needed a London venue for some time, preferably within just strolling length of the gallery in Savile Row, so when The Audley arrived up, we jumped at it’, he suggests. ‘We look at the building to be a huge piece of architecture with so significantly character and background connected.’

Food at The Audley will be helmed by Jamie Shears, with the Mount St Restaurant presenting a refined common-contemporary fusion menu drawing inspiration from London’s culinary heritage. Downstairs, the bar will offer a innovative twist on pub grub. 

The natural way, art is the backbone of the venture, with a revolving showcase of vital performs through, as very well as interventions by Hauser & Wirth’s roster of primary international artists. These contain Phyllida Barlow’s ceiling installation in the pub, Rashid Johnson’s floor mosaic in the Mount St Cafe, and Anj Smith’s ceiling fresco which occupies the leading-floor turret. ‘It’s a uncommon thing to be capable to fee web-site-precise art for a challenge of this scale, a person that will assistance compose the up coming chapter of the setting up and outlast us all’, says Venters. ‘I consider these operates lead massively to The Audley starting to be a wonderful and interesting dialogue, with an interior that is full of possibilities and inspiration.’

Artist Phyllida Barlow pictured in July 2022 installing her collaged ceiling set up which crowns the floor-ground pub in vibrant colour

The Audley’s modern day art pièce de résistance is extremely hard to skip. British artist Barlow’s summary ceiling set up crowns the floor-floor pub in a zesty sky of collaged color, the everlasting mosaic of hand-painted paper framed by the pub’s deep mahogany panelling. 

For Barlow, the invitation was a ‘thrilling offer’. ‘I mentioned of course instantly, even however I have under no circumstances carried out anything at all like this just before,’ she described. ‘But [architect Luis Laplace] and I experienced a incredibly transient conversation wherever he reported, “you’ve acquired to be as daring as you want to be and as cost-free as you want to be.”’ Daring and absolutely free is an exact characterisation of Barlow’s installation, which presents an illusion of kinetic 3-dimensionality. ‘It’s incredibly active in its marriage to the pub surroundings, but not in a way that by some means spoils it.’ she carries on. ‘I adore the notion of it impacting the ecosystem, and building people truly feel that it was practically normal that it was there.’

Barlow’s concluded ceiling set up at The Audley

Like quite a few of Artfarm and Hauser & Wirth’s earlier restoration initiatives – like Hauser & Wirth Menorca and Durslade Farmhouse in Somerset – architectural renovations have been headed up by Paris-dependent Laplace, who has put his stamp on The Audley’s authentic design by Thomas Verity, greatest known for the pavilion exterior at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Laplace deployed his signature sensitive strategy inside of the constraints of the Grade II listed structure, allowing art, and the building’s treasured heritage, to take centre phase. 

Amongst these treasures are The Audley’s initial ceiling clock preserving time on past orders, and the first picket hearth, inscribed with the Latin ‘salve’ (welcome). It is a fitting greeting for a pub that has neighborhood and tradition in its DNA, sentiments Artfarm hopes to fervidly sustain. ‘This area is so loaded in culture and historical past, and in which far better for all those tales to continue than at the nearby pub?’ says Venters. ‘Everyone is welcome!’

In the larger landscape of artwork-satisfies-hospitality enterprises, Artfarm is unquestionably tapping into a thing. Its recipe is proving, all over again and once more, that there is an urge for food for the intersection of these worlds. ‘Art inspires, excites and intrigues, it sparks conversations’, suggests Venters. ‘Restaurants, motels and bars give individuals a area to have those people discussions, away from their day-to-day life.’ §