Hotel Collection

Surrounded by the city’s most iconic cultural and architectural landmarks the ART, a hotel, Denver's newest luxury hotel, enjoys a privileged location in Denver’s Golden Triangle. We seek to add another layer to this rich environment by presenting a curated collection of original works of art that celebrate the creative spirit of 20th and 21st century artists from around the world.

The art on view at the ART was chosen to provide our guests with unique and unexpected opportunities to enjoy works of art in a luxurious and sophisticated, yet casual environment. Certain works, such as Leo Villareal’s magical work in the porte cochere and Larry Bell’s installation of LIGHT KNOTS in the ART restaurant FIRE were commissioned especially for the ART. Others were acquired from artists as far-flung as Dusseldorf, London, New York, Vietnam, Los Angeles and of course Denver, Colorado.

Playful, serious, advanced and traditional, we hope everyone will find his or her own favorite work of Art.

Play  Click play to see how our canvas came to life at the ART, a hotel.


Josef Albers
Variant Light Green Font, 1959
Oil on Masonite

Josef Albers

b. 1888, Bottrop, Germany
d. 1976, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Variant Light Green Font, 1959

    Oil on Masonite

""Color is like cooking", stated Josef Albers. "The cook puts in more salt or less salt, that’s the difference". And for many years Albers worked on his experimental visual recipe of colored squares, layered upon and next to each other, to better understand how the various juxtapositions would effect the viewer’s perception of the colors. These color/square paintings resulted in an extraordinarily influential body of work known as HOMAGE TO THE SQUARE.

This VARIANT, one of a more rare and different series, uses rectangles instead of squares for his perceptual experiments. In these, each color occupies an equal amount of surface area on the image. The colors in this composition reflect the influence of his many trips to the Southwest."

John Baldessari
EIGHT SOUPS, 2012
Silkscreen prints

John Baldessari

b.1931, National City, California
Lives in Venice, California
  • Eight Soups, 2012

    Silkscreen prints

Conceptual artist John Baldessari playfully sums up nearly the whole history of modern art by combining the idea of Andy Warhol’s endless serial arrangements of Soup Cans with a playful nod to Henri Matisse’s 1912 painting of Goldfish and Sculpture. He is best known for works that appropriate images from film clips, newspapers, and photographs that he takes out of context and recombines in a way that gives them a totally new, if not always clear, meaning.

Larry Bell
LIGHT KNOTS, 2014
Mylar, metals, and quartz

Larry Bell

b. 1939, Chicago, Illinois
Lives in Taos, New Mexico, and Venice, California
  • Light Knots, 2014

    Mylar, metals, and quartz
  • Church Studies, 2014

    Collage papers, Mylar, and laminate films coated with aluminum and silicon monoxide

The Light Knots are created from a single layer of Mylar film coated with thin films of metals and quartz. They get their mysterious charm from the way they gently move and interact with light. Bell considers them to be “improvisational, spontaneous, and intuitive three-dimensional drawings in space.”

For his two-dimensional Church collages, Bell coats a custom-made red paper with a reflective micro-thin film. The resulting iridescent surface flickers in changing light to give the work an ever-changing appearance. The title refers to his new studio in Venice, a light filled desacralized church.

Phil Bender
BELTS, 2014
Vintage souvenir beaded belts

Phil Bender

b. 1947, St. Louis, Missouri
Lives in Denver, Colorado
  • Belts, 2014

    Vintage souvenir beaded belts

Bender’s art has been described as a search and recovery operation since he collects, arranges, and makes art from an almost unbelievable array of decidedly non-art materials, including, but certainly not limited to, crushed aerosol cans, hubcaps, pitchforks, salt shakers, photos of Princess Di, happy birthday paper plates, tennis racquets, bathtubs... the list goes on and on.

These vintage souvenir beaded belts, arranged from very large to very small and bearing the names of many states and the patina of many uses is a reminder of past times and past waist sizes.

Deborah Butterfield
OTTER, 2014
Unique cast bronze with patina

Deborah Butterfield

b. 1949, San Diego, California
Lives in Bozeman, Montana, and Holualoa, Hawaii
  • Otter, 2014

    Unique cast bronze with patina

Butterfield often names her works for rivers, mountains, lakes, and towns in Montana. Named after a small Montana town, Otter was originally fashioned from sun-bleached wood that Butterfield found on the riverbanks near her home and then cast as a unique sculpture by burning away the wood with molten bronze. Her expert application of a coating of patina made the raw bronze look exactly like driftwood.

Jim Dine
YELLOW RUSHING TOWARD ME, 2002
Oil, acrylic, sand, and charcoal on wood panel

Jim Dine

b. 1935, Cincinnati, Ohio
Lives in Washington State and Paris, France
  • Yellow Rushing Toward Me, 2002

    Oil, acrylic, sand, and charcoal on wood panel
  • Heart/Maeght

  • Lincoln Center Pinocchio, 2008

In 1964 Dine used the image of a man’s bathrobe to create a selfportrait. Since then he has made hundreds of paintings, prints, and drawings based on that theme—an invisible figure in a bathrobe, each work expressing a different mood and vitality. In this painting, the then sixty-seven-year-old artist presents himself as a painter in a virile, energetic self-portrait, confronting us in a nearly aggressive stance, the bright red robe splattered with paint. Even though Dine has lived and exhibited all over the world, he remains a quintessential American artist who credits his Cincinnati upbringing for most influencing who he is. "Cincinnati is beautiful. She is my Muse."

Mary Ehrin
MOLTEN METEORITES, 2014
Metallic leather

Mary Ehrin

b. Los Angeles
Lives in Denver and Los Angeles
  • Molten Meteorites, 2014

    Metallic leather

Raised in Los Angeles in a family closely connected to the glory days of Hollywood, Mary Ehrin comes naturally to the world of fantasy and illusion. Striving for "fabulousness" her work is hallmarked by the use of unusual and luxurious materials.

In this work, Ehrin tailors river rocks with metallic leather to transform them into molten meteorites that resemble giant gold nuggets and that may even bring to mind the role of the gold rush in Colorado history

Tracy Emin
I CAN FEEL YOUR SMILE, 2005
Snow-white neon

Tracy Emin

b. 1963, Croydon, United Kingdom
Lives in London
  • I Can Feel Your Smile, 2005

    Snow-white neon

Tracey Emin is known for wearing her heart on her sleeve, for sharing her feelings and thoughts through her work. It’s tempting to think she might have created this work in anticipation of the pleasure you would take in the surprises of the ART hotel.

Throughout her career she has used all sorts of skills to create sculptures in unexpected mediums that are often confessional in nature, but it is in her bright neons, written in her own hand, that she most directly communicates with her audience.

Sushe Felix
EARLY MORNING MIST, 2013
Acrylic on panel

Sushe Felix

b. 1958, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Early Morning Mist, 2013

    Acrylic on panel

During the 1930s and 40s, Colorado Springs was a center for American Regionalists and Modernists who looked to artists such as Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood as their mentors. Felix, a native of the region, reaches back to that tradition of rhythmic forms, extraordinary light, and layers of brilliant colors to create orderly compositions of geometric forms.

Though this work is abstract, its allusion to a stylish, vibrant city situated in a beautiful, lush mountain setting is clear. Its art-deco-like patterns suggest the painting might have been made in the 30s; yet its inner light and southwestern palette signal a very contemporary depiction of the Southwest.

Sam Francis
GUYOTAT'S CROSS, 1988
Acrylic on canvas

Sam Francis

b. 1923, San Mateo, California
d. 1994, Santa Monica, California
  • Guyotat's Cross, 1988

    Acrylic on canvas
  • Trietto, I, 1991

    Aquatint on copper
  • Trietto, II, 1991

    Aquatint on copper
  • Trietto, III, 1991

    Aquatint on copper
  • Trietto, IV, 1991

    Aquatint on copper
  • Trietto, V, 1991

    Aquatint on copper

Though he was a generation younger than Clyfford Still, Mark Rothko, and Jackson Pollock, Sam Francis was the first American abstract expressionist to make a reputation overseas. After leaving the Army Air Force in 1944, he lived, worked, and exhibited in Paris, Bern, New York, and Tokyo.

Never easy to classify, Francis became best known for his splashy, abstract, energetic, light filled, joyous paintings. The title of this darker and more emotional painting alludes to the controversial French author Pierre Guyotat, who suffered a breakdown in the early 1980s. Made when Francis was losing his own battle against the poor health he suffered most of his life, the painting explodes with an intensity reminiscent of Clyfford Still, one of Francis's early mentors in San Francisco.

He is much admired for his very large paintings at the San Francisco International Airport.

Frank Gehry
FISH LAMP, 1984
Formica ColorCore® Laminate, silicone and wood

Frank Gehry

b. 1929, Toronto, Canada
Lives in Santa Monica, California
  • Fish Lamp, 1984

    Formica ColorCore® Laminate, silicone and wood

Frank Gehry is credited with changing the face of contemporary architecture by creating revolutionary building configurations. These new forms found their earliest notable expression in the titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain (1997), and most recently in the”glass cloud” Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris (2014).

His “Fish Lamps” grew out of a 1983 commission to create a work using the Formica Corporation’s thennew plastic laminate. The artist’s continuing fascination with the fish motif began when a length of the material fell, shattering into shards that suggested fish scales.

Allan Houser
LEGENDS BEGIN, 1990
Cast Bronze

Allan Houser

b. 1914, Near Apache, Oklahoma
d. 1994, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Legends Begin, 1990

    Cast Bronze

Born to parents who had been imprisoned for twenty-seven years along with other members of the Warm Springs Chiricahua Apaches after their leader Geronimo surrendered to the United States government, Houser was the first member of his tribe to be born out of captivity.

He became one of the most admired Native American artists of the 20th century, and was the first Native American to receive the National Medal of Art, awarded at the White House in 1992 by President George H. W. Bush.

Luis Jimenez
MUSTANG, 1997
Color lithograph

Luis Jimenez

b. 1940, El Paso, Texas
d. 2006, Hondo, New Mexico
  • Mustang, 1997

    Color lithograph

Anyone driving to or from Denver International Airport will pass a gaudy fiberglass- and-steel sculpture of a huge, lone, bright blue, fiery-red-eyed, bucking horse named Mustang that was commissioned in 1992 by the city of Denver for its then-new airport.

Coming from blue-color roots and growing up in an El Paso barrio, the creator of that stunning work combined Mexican and European art traditions as he strove to create art for ordinary people, not just art aficionados. He achieved great acclaim doing just that, and his public sculptures installed across America have many devoted fans, including George W. Bush who invited him to dinner at the White House. True to form, Jiménez showed up in bright red cowboy boots.

Vance Kirkland
ENIGMA OF MAGNETIC FORCES, 1976
Oil paint and water on linen

Vance Kirkland

b. 1904, Convoy, Ohio
d. 1981, Denver, Colorado
  • Enigma of Magnetic Forces, 1976

    Oil paint and water on linen

Kirkland developed five painting styles during a career that culminated in his extraordinary so-called dot paintings. Writing in 1978, he argued that “Whenever a cycle of ideas seemed satisfactory, I knew I... needed to move on and develop a greater challenge. Then the paintings remained fresh.” His dot paintings, which portray the vibrant mystery of space as he imagined it, were created as he lay suspended by slings over a canvas laid out on a table. From this perch, Kirkland dipped a dowel in paint and, one by one, added hundreds of thousands of dots to create the finished work.

Lars Kremer
ANATOMY LESSONS, 1994 Video
Video

Lars Kremer

b. 1964, West Chester, Pennsylvania
Lives in Brooklyn, New York
  • Anatomy Lessons, 1994 Video

  • Anatomy Lessons, 1994 Video

Watch Video

In this humorously uncomfortable video, Lars Kremer confronts the issue every young contemporary artist must face—how can he live up to and relate to all the old masters that preceded him? After moving to New York in 1991, still fresh out of the MFA sculpture program at Yale University, Kremer created this performance work by using a digital effects feature on his video cam which allowed him to capture his tracings of the classical anatomical drawings from an art school anatomy book and superimpose them over the on-screen image, which he then tries to fit into by watching himself perform live, on a video monitor in his studio. We see him contorting his own boxer-clad body in an effort to fit himself both figuratively and literally into the various poses that the drawings portray. Because the video camera was pointed at him as he watched himself struggle to fit into the outline on-screen, the image was reversed, like a reversed mirror, making the task all the more difficult. Kremer says he found it interesting to take on art history and the concept of "Old Master" by using his own body to re-draw their drawings.

Sean Landers
SOME CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IT, 2013
Oil on linen

Sean Landers

b.1962, Palmer, Massachusetts
Lives in New York City
  • Some Choose to Believe It, 2013

    Oil on linen
  • Bear Cub, 2015

    Oil on linen

Landers says, “I generally want to paint cute animals.” And this tartan-covered bear from his North American Mammals series is about as cute as they get. If Picasso could paint blue people and Dali dripping clocks, why can’t Landers paint a plaid bear? Still, when we look closely at this adorable bear happily ambling through a Disney-esque landscape, we see a tiny bee just in front of his nose. This might not bode well for the happy fellow. The charm of the scene belies the seriousness of the work, whose title, carved into the rock in the lower right of the painting, is taken from a line in Kermit the frog’s Rainbow Celebration song. Landers’s works always have multiple layers of meaning, most of them having to do with the vulnerabilities of being an artist, the struggle to maintain the mental freedom it takes to be creative, and respectful nods to artists that came before. The enchanting little cub on the opposite wall seems to be one of the “some” who choose to believe.

Dihn Q. Lê
FLOWERS, 2014
C-print and linen tape

Dihn Q. Lê

b. 1968, Ha Tien, Vietnam
  • Flowers, 2014

    C-print and linen tape
  • Flowers, 2014

    C-print and linen tape

Dinh Q. Lê is a conceptual artist from Vietnam whose woven photo images have become hallmarks of his style. For Lê, the traditional Vietnamese mat weaving techniques serve as a vehicle for images that express his hybrid identity and the complex relationships between memory and history.

Lê started weaving images of flowers in response to 9/11. In this triptych, commissioned especially for this space in the ART hotel, he relates the flowers symbolically to the persistence of beauty and the flowering of human resilience amid the horror of destruction.

Sol LeWitt
WALL DRAWING #397, 1983
Plaster and paint

Sol LeWitt

b.1928, Hartford, Connecticut
d. 2007, New York City
  • Wall Drawing #397, 1983

    Plaster and paint
  • Table Sculptures

Painter, sculptor, conceptual artist, LeWitt believed it was more natural to work directly on the wall than to paint on a constructed canvas and then hang that on the wall. Inspired by the frescoes of Giotto and other Florentine painters, he created his first “wall drawing” in 1968.

Consistent with the principle that his works could be executed by others who would precisely follow his instructions, this drawing was conceived of by LeWitt in 1983, but produced on the wall here in 2014 by a team of artists, including several art students from the University of Denver.

Oliver Michaels
REVOLUTION, 2010
Video; Revolution music: “Chuck” by Archie Bronson Outfit

Oliver Michaels

b. 1972, London, England
Lives in Brooklyn, New York
  • Revolution, 2010

    Video; Revolution music: “Chuck” by Archie Bronson Outfit
  • Tube Balloon Thing, 2010

The idea of the “precious” art object is turned on it’s head as Oliver Michaels magically adds very untraditional art materials to a plain, rotating cardboard box, transforming it into a sculpture that seems to defy all rules an art school might have taught. Both videos in this collection are from the artist’s Split Screen Sculpture Series in which he creates kinetic sculptures by employing a split screen editing technique. Addressing space, material, humor, banality, illusion, and digitization Tube Balloon Thing and Revolution engage viewers by highlighting the extraordinariness of familiar everyday objects in a way that not only entertain the viewer, but might also make them ask..."Huh? How did he do that?"

Oliver Michaels has exhibited widely at venues including Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica; P.S.1, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Cobra Museum of Modern Art, Amsterdam; Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris; and Tate Britain, London. His videos can be found in the permanent collections of institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Krefelder Kunstmuseen, Germany. Oliver Michaels has a BFA with honors from central Saint Martins.

Sarah Morris
FALCON (Origami), 2007
Gloss house paint

Sarah Morris

b. 1967, Sevenoaks, Kent, England
Lives in New York
  • Falcon (Origami), 2007

    Gloss house paint
  • Untitled

The title of this work refers to the origami pattern that can, in the hands of an origami artist, turn a flat piece of paper into a sculpture that resembles a falcon.

Morris has collected origami “crease patterns” for years and has based an entire series of paintings and prints on their deceptively simple geometry. By abstracting these elements into flat, sometimes gridlike, diagrammatic forms and painting them with boldly colored household gloss paint, she creates paintings that transform the appropriated origami influences into bright, pristine paintings.

Odili Donald Odita
Expand, 2014
Acrylic on canvas

Odili Donald Odita

b. 1966 Enugu, Nigeria
Lives in Philadelphia, PA
  • Expand, 2014

    Acrylic on canvas
  • Flashpoint, 2014

    Acrylic on canvas
  • Windows, 2014

    Acrylic on canvas

Sometimes uninterrupted, smooth and lyrical, and others times jagged and dissonant, the shifting rhythms in Odita's works are always dazzling and more thought provoking than mere abstractions. He often uses music as the basis of the conceptual and emotional structure of the work the paintings. And the colors he uses are very personal, reflective of visions experienced thru his global and local travelling. He believes that ""Color in itself has the possibility of mirroring the complexity of the world"". His palette, drawn from his African heritage emphasizes this belief.

These modestly sized works only hint at his ability to create works that encompass entire rooms, such as the the installation he created for the prestigious 52nd Venice Biennial or the huge murals he completed for the United States Mission for the United Nations.

Claes Oldenburg
Coosje van Bruggen
Big Sweep, 2006
Stainless steel, aluminum, fiber reinforced plastic, painted with polyurethane enamel

Claes Oldenburg

b. 1929, Stockholm, Sweden
Lives in New York

Coosje van Bruggen

b. 1942, Groningen, Netherlands
d. 2009, Los Angeles, California
  • Big Sweep, 2006

    Stainless steel, aluminum, fiber reinforced plastic, painted with polyurethane enamel
  • Typewriter Eraser, Scale X, 1999

Oldenburg and his wife, Coosje van Bruggen, created some of the most beloved and witty public sculptures in America by supersizing everyday objects.

This scale model of the thirty-five foot-tall Big Sweep nestled beside the Denver Art Museum was part of their Dust Bin of History series and was inspired by seeing city workers sweeping Denver’s very clean streets on a typically windy day. The tilt of the dustpan mimics the shape of the mountains in the distance, and the slits on the pan echo the window slits on the Museum’s Gio Ponti building.

Joel Otterson
Bottoms Up, 2013
Vintage pressed-glass and cut-crystal goblets, steel, metal chain, copper wire, and electrical parts

Joel Otterson

b. 1959, Englewood, California
Lives in Los Angeles, California
  • Bottoms Up, 2013

    Vintage pressed-glass and cut-crystal goblets, steel, metal chain, copper wire, and electrical parts

Loosely modeled after late 19th century Baccarat “birdcage” chandeliers, this work is an example of Otterson’s ability to create functional objects for domestic and public spaces by combining lofty high art ideals with thrift shop finds.

Playfully re-purposing common objects, in this case nearly two hundred pressed- and cut-glass goblets that he has collected over the past decade, Otterson’s work results in seriously beautiful, carefully crafted works of art. Unlike many artists today, he takes pride in making all his work himself: “I celebrate what my hands and ten fingers can do.”

Rob Reynolds
CONTINENTAL DIVIDE, 2014
Oil, alkyd, ink, synthetic polymer on canvas

Rob Reynolds

b. 1966, Newton, Massachusetts
Lives in New York
  • Continental Divide, 2014

    Oil, alkyd, ink, synthetic polymer on canvas

Reynolds traveled to Colorado to find and photograph clouds above the Continental Divide on June 21, 2014, the first day of summer. This image was taken at 12:01 p.m. at a spot known locally as “Cloud City” outside of Leadville, where Oscar Wilde famously visited in 1882. Of his visit Wilde reputedly remarked: Here I saw the only rational method of art criticism I have run across. Over the piano was printed a notice: “Please do not shoot the piano player. He is doing his best.”

Clark Richert
Phi Tesserae, 2015
Acrylic on canvas

Clark Richert

b. 1941, Wichita, Kansas
Lives in Denver, Colorado
  • Phi Tesserae, 2015

    Acrylic on canvas
  • Study for Phi Tessarae

  • Enneacon Cluster

Patterns and pattern recognition are an integral part of human history. Patterns exist in our DNA, our ancient crafts, advanced mathematics, and computer code. They have played a significant role in remarkable discoveries by scholars and visionaries as diverse as Pythagoras and Buckminster Fuller.

Richert has been investigating the use of patterns in his work since the late 1960s. These dazzling paintings were commissioned especially for the ART Hotel.

Nancy Rubins
COLLAGE, 2006
Giclée print on archival paper

Nancy Rubins

b. 1952, Naples, Texas
Lives in Topanga, California
  • Collage, 2006

    Giclée print on archival paper

Well-known for exuberant, large-scale sculptures made of manufactured objects like mattresses, row boats and canoes, small appliances, and salvaged airplane parts, Rubins also collages outsize photographic prints like this one. These energetic, two-dimensional works feature images from her large sculptures and reflect their commanding scale. That she is equally comfortable working on an intimate very small, but visually powerful, scale can be seen in her 16x20-inch Studies, 2006, six exquisitely crafted pigment prints that are also included in this collection.

Thomas Ruff
Untitled, 2013
C-print diptych

Thomas Ruff

b. 1958, Zell am Harmersbach, Germany
Lives in Dusseldorf, Germany
  • Untitled, 2013

    C-print diptych

A member of an influential group of European photographers including Thomas Struth and Andreas Gursky, Ruff has long been admired for his large-scale color photographs featuring portraits, abstractions, constellations, and nudes.

In his recent photograms (a camera-less photographic process explored in black and white by Man Ray, László Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer, and others in the early twentieth century), Ruff continues to expand the unconventional possibilities of photographic scale, color, and form. Working in a virtual darkroom created by custom-made software, Ruff produces huge works like this diptych, whose powerful aesthetic impact is magnified by its physical presence.

Ed Ruscha
INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH SLEEP, 2007
Merino wool, cotton, and Trevira CS tapestry

Edward Ruscha

b. 1937, Omaha, Nebraska
Lives in Los Angeles, California
  • Industrial Strength Sleep, 2007

    Merino wool, cotton, and Trevira CS tapestry
  • Still (For Clyford Still), 1986

    Dry pigment and pastel on board

True to his mid-western roots, Ruscha claims Norman Rockwell as one of his major influences. Deciding to become a commercial illustrator himself, Ruscha left his home in Oklahoma and moved to Los Angeles in 1956. He soon gave up commercial illustration and for the past fifty-some-years created works that are about both art and language, and has earned international acclaim as one of America’s most admired artists.

Industrial Strength Sleep is based on Ruscha’s 1989 painting by the same name, which was, in turn, based on photographer Edward Weston’s study of clouds. This piece is on loan from Ed Ruscha.

Clyfford Still
PH-1034
Various reproductions

Clyfford Still

b. 1904, Grandin, North Dakota
d. 1980, New York City, New York
  • PH-1034

  • PH-389

Still is one of the giants of abstract expressionism, an art movement that was practiced by some of the most iconic artists of all time, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko.

Though dozens of cities vied for Still’s estate, the City and County of Denver won this incredible patrimony. Opened in November 2011 on the northwest corner of the block on which the ART Hotel now stands, the Clyfford Still Museum offers the only opportunity in the world to see so many works by this American master.

This early work was created just a few years before he achieved his signature style. Reproductions of those later works are included in some hotel suites, thanks to the generosity of the Clyfford Still Museum.

Kiki Smith
SINGER, 2009
Bronze with paper flowers

Kiki Smith

b. 1954, Nuremberg, Germany
Lives in New York
  • Singer, 2009

    Bronze with paper flowers

Smith is a poet with materials, equally comfortable making prints and drawings enhanced with gold leaf, hand-blown glass teardrops, or delicate life-size sculptures out of handmade paper or bronze.

Noted for subjects as diverse as birds and other animals, human body parts and fluids, flowers, fairy tales and ancient myths, Smith’s portrayal of women is often especially poignant and beautiful. This lovely girl, silently welcoming you with flowers to the ART, is no exception.

Among her many laurels, Smith was one of the five honorees of the U.S. Department of State’s inaugural Medal of Arts in 2012.

Mickalene Thomas
UNTITLED #5, 2014
Acrylic, oil paint, glitter, rhinestones, oil pastel, graphite on wood

Mickalene Thomas

b. 1971, Camden, New Jersey
Lives in New York City, New York
  • Untitled #5, 2014

    Acrylic, oil paint, glitter, rhinestones, oil pastel, graphite on wood

Since receiving her MFA from Yale University in 2002, Thomas has earned great acclaim as an artist whose works explore ideas of feminism, beauty, and black female celebrity mined from art history, as well as her own experience.

Dressed in Thomas’s signature neon colors and sparkling materials, these themes take on the look of a Picasso-esque style gone awry in this work from her Tete de Femme  series. Thomas has described how the series grew out of a game she and her friend and collaborator, makeup artist Vincent Oquendo, began playing while leafing through photos of models’ faces: she would make a mark on a photo, and he would erase hers and put on another, which she would erase to add one of her own, and so forth. Each portrait, though untitled, actually depicts an individual woman.

Leo Villareal
UNTITLED, 2014-15
LEDs, custom software, and electrical hardware

Leo Villareal

b. 1967, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Lives in New York
  • Untitled, 2014-15

    LEDs, custom software, and electrical hardware

This signature work, commissioned for the exterior of the ART, was created by embedding over 22,000 white LED nodes into the ceiling of the building’s porte cochère. Visitors are welcomed to the hotel with an ever-changing light display of abstract patterns controlled by Villareal’s computer programming that regulates their opacity, speed and scale.

Another of his renowned installations is the 2013 Bay Lights,  a site-specific 1.8-mile display of LED patterns that never repeat themselves on the cables of the north side of the San Francisco- Oakland suspension bridge.

Betty Woodman
ALESSANDRO'S ROOM, 2013
Color woodcut, lithograph with chine-callé collage

Betty Woodman

b. 1930, Norwalk, Connecticut
Lives in New York City and Antella, Italy
  • Alessandro's Room, 2013

    Color woodcut, lithograph with chine-callé collage
  • Vases and Windows

  • Vases and Windows

Longtime professor of ceramics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Betty Woodman continues to pursue a prolific career that has spanned six decades and helped expand the horizons of ceramic art and printmaking.

In 2006, Woodman became the first living woman artist to have a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. She continues to receive honors and accolades, most recently the 2014 Gold Medal for Consummate Craftsmanship from the American Craft Council