Art at The Audley and Mount St. Restaurant in London
On the corner of Mayfair’s Mount Street and South Audley Street, The Audley Public House and Mount St. Restaurant have opened their doors. This major restoration project by Artfarm has resulted in a new London pub and fine dining restaurant unlike any others, featuring an array of artist interventions and artworks woven throughout their interiors. Formerly operating as pub with rooms for staff, the listed building was first a hotel, built in 1888 and designed by Thomas Verity, the man responsible for the exterior of the pavilion at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
Laplace, the Paris-based design and architecture studio headed by Luis Laplace and Christophe Comoy, was the lead architect behind the restoration of The Audley. The studio is the creative force behind a number of spaces from Artfarm and Hauser & Wirth, including our art centers in Somerset and the Menorca. With a signature style that is both bold and timeless, Laplace intuitively integrates architecture, art and design, working closely with artists and allowing their art to take center stage.
Phyllida Barlow installing her ceiling installation, 2022. Photo Sim Canetty-Clarke
Rodney Graham, A Glass of Beer, 2005 © Rodney Graham. Photo Sim Canetty-Clarke
British artist Phyllida Barlow, known for taking inspiration from her surroundings to create extraordinary installations, has created a spectacular ceiling commission for London’s newest pub. A collaged mosaic of hand painted paper in a range of colors that are exuberant and joyful, the forms in Barlow’s ceiling are inspired by the curvature of the pub windows. ‘It’s very active in its relationship to the pub environment, but not in a way that somehow spoils it,’ says Phyllida Barlow. ‘I love the idea of it impacting the environment, and making people feel that it was almost natural that it was there.
Other notable artwork within the street-level pub includes Martin Creed’s Work No. 671 ‘Friends’ (2007), Rodney Graham ‘A Glass of Beer’ (2005) and two works by Don McCullin; ‘Hessel Street, Jewish District, East End, London’ (ca. 1962) and ‘Bradford couple having tea’ (ca. 1970).
Interior of Mount St. Restaurant. Photo: Sim Canetty-Clarke
A detail from the palladiana floor by Rashid Johnson in Mount St. Restaurant © Rashid Johnson. Photo Sim Canetty-Clarke
Mount St. Restaurant
American artist Rashid Johnson has created a new commission titled ‘Broken Floor’ (2022) for Mount St. Restaurant, an all-day establishment location above the pub showcasing more extraordinary artworks. The light-flooded restaurant with its picture windows has a unique floor—a palladiana mosaic, comprised of different types of marble, that allows guests to ‘explore it, stand on it, interact with it physically… in ways they traditionally haven’t had the opportunity,’ says Rashid Johnson.
The walls are bursting with a collection of artworks including pieces by Lucian Freud, ‘Self Portrait: Reflection’ (1996) and ‘A Plate of Prawns’ (1958); Andy Warhol ‘Lobster’ (1982), Henri Matisse ‘Éperlans (Smelts)’ (1920 executed in Étretat), Frank Auerbach ‘Primrose Hill, Summer’ (1968), Georgio Morandi ‘Natura morta’ (1946) and Keith Tyson ‘Still Life with White Carbs’ (2022).
The table lamps in the restaurant are inspired by the iconic 1918 ‘Powder Box’ by Swiss artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp, while the salt and pepper cruets are inspired by American artist Paul McCarthy’s much-discussed ‘Tree’ (2014) sculpture.
Keith Tyson, Still Life with White Carbs, 2022 © Keith Tyson. Photo: Peter Mallet
Exterior of The Audley Public House and Mount St. Restaurant. Photo: Simon Brown
Located on the three floors above Mount St. Restaurant are a collection of Curious Rooms, four beautifully designed spaces, each with its own story and available for private hire. In The Swiss Room, artworks include paintings by Ferdinand Hodler and the hand-crafted European Oak floor is stained by artisan Ian Harper to resemble a watercolour by Sophie Taeuber-Arp.
In the Games Room on the fourth floor is an homage to Louise Bourgeois—a rug designed by Laplace in association with Jerry Gorovoy, Bourgeois’s long-time assistant. Hand painted directly onto the circular ceiling of the iconic Audley turret, is an artist intervention by British artist Anj Smith reinterpreting tentacle erotica.
Ewan Venters, CEO of Hauser & Wirth and Artfarm comments, ‘Mount St. Restaurant is all about the food, the story of Mayfair—and art. We want people to come away feeling they have experienced something special. But it is not just a restaurant, rather a place that gives back as well as providing pleasure. Art is at its heart, a place to inspire and delight.’