Mayer Brown is a distinctively global law firm, specialising in advising the world’s leading companies and financial institutions on their most complex deals and disputes. The firm has extensive reach across four continents with bases in London, New York and Hong Kong. Mayer Brown also has a long-standing commitment to supporting initiatives around CSR, diversity, community and charitable giving, working with a variety of charitable projects across the world.
The client was keen to work with ARTIQ through their unique art rental model, offering artists a regular income for their work and helping to support the creation of a sustainable arts economy.
ARTIQ were brought on board to develop an art collection for the client suite areas following an extensive modernisation and refurbishment programme by Mayer Brown of one of its office floors. ARTIQ also worked alongside the client to develop a number of cultural engagement strategies, designed to connect the wider team with the art in their building.
To choose the work in the collection, ARTIQ and the client set up an ‘art committee’, bringing together a group of partners and employees from across the office to participate in a focus group about the art that they would like to see in their place of work. The committee were invited to choose the art for their collection from a diverse array of artwork, including painting, sculpture, prints and street art.
As part of the engagement initiative, ARTIQ also advised the client on an auctioning strategy, offering partners and employees a chance to purchase a selection of artworks from Mayer Brown’s archival collection, including a number of works by prominent contemporary artists.
The art committee was unanimous that the collection should be fresh and vibrant and form a real talking point for visitors as well as partners and employees of the Firm. The collection was therefore developed around the themes of diversity, equality and patronage, with particular focus paid to profiling and showcasing the work of female artists, artist graduates and artists from outside of the UK. The collection features an aesthetic narrative too, with each client suite curated by ARTIQ to evoke its own unique identity through a the use of a diverse array of form, colour and genre.
86% of art in the Mayer Brown collection is by female artists, a decision made by ARTIQ and the committee to reflect the client’s passion and commitment to promoting diversity in the sector and within the firm. The collection profiles the work of a number of London-based and international artists including Corinne Natel, Laetitia Rouget, Sara Dare, Sandra Shashou and Carolina Khouri.
Carolina Khouri is a Polish-Lebanese artist, living and working in London. Inspired by minimalism, Carolina focuses on the centrality of gesture, movement and action displayed against the stillness of monochromatic backgrounds. Working in abstract form and using a palette of deep red, the piece chosen for the collection conveys a powerful yet meditative energy, selected by ARTIQ to offer a vibrant interaction for the hallway and to provide the viewer with a moment of stillness within the abstraction and simplicity of colour.
Dragica Carlin is a British-Croatian painter who is based in London. She has exhibited extensively throughout the UK, USA and Italy. The artist’s work takes on an abstract form, involving unpredictable colour combinations and textural brushstrokes to produce art which stimulates both the emotions and the mind. Dragica’s large-scale canvas provides an impactful statement piece for the client suite and was chosen by the committee to inspire innovation and expression.
The art collection also features a number of works by a host of exciting emerging artists, with a particular focus on artists who have recently graduated from UK universities and institutions.
Andrei Costache is a visual artist working across painting, installation and sculpture. Born in Romania, Andrei completed an MA in Sculpture at Slade School, London in 2018 before coming to ARTIQ’s attention via their annual The Graduate Art Prize, an initiative developed by ARTIQ to showcase and support the very best in graduate talent.
‘UINSTANTLYGOTAMESSAGE1237284522’ is a bright and graphic work, using digital print and sprayed shapes onto vinyl. The vibrant piece was chosen to evoke the excitement and creativity of the office’s local community, paying homage to the bold street art often found in nearby Liverpool Street.
A number of pieces by other members of The Graduate Art Prize alumni can be found throughout the collection, including works by finalists Demi Bromfield and Chris Hawkes, along with a piece by 2018 winner, Charlotte Aiken.
Chris Hawkes studied BA Fine Art Painting at Brighton University. Inspired by Pop Art, Chris’s practice incorporates the use of non-conventional materials such as nail varnish, nail transfers and plastic gemstones within his paintings to explore notions of gender, identity and culture. The artwork chosen for the collection sits in the heart of the client’s meeting room, offering splashes of colour, abstract form and illustration to encourage creativity and a sense of play.
For the reception area, ARTIQ commissioned a bespoke large-scale artwork by their in-house studio artist, Jessie Gardiner. Responding to a key design feature, Jessie developed an original artwork for the ‘fins’ that sit behind the welcome desk. Working closely with the client, Jessie created a unique artwork inspired by mural making and street art inspired by a brief to reflect the ‘abstract graffiti paintings’ typically found near the client’s offices in the Liverpool Street/Shoreditch area.
Setting the tone for the rest of the collection, Jessie’s work takes on an expressive and abstract form, encouraging the viewer to engage with ideas of colour, texture and form. The piece was also created to include the distinct branding colours of Mayer Brown, offering visitors a welcome of context and a sense of place.