Expressionism at the Langham Hotel: Exploring Color, Shape, and Space in ‘The Fed’

Written by Lily Armstrong

Here at Copley Society, the start of July has been full of celebrations as the newly renovated Langham Hotel, Boston opens to the public. Beginning their blueprinting process back in April of 2019, reimagining this beautiful hotel meant taking a closer look at how art would play a role in executing the Langham’s new vision; preserve the original, unique aspects of the hotel while establishing more contemporary touches as they embark on the new decade. We are proud to announce that 29 Co|So artists and over 100 of their works of art helped articulate this vision and bring to life the culture, landscape, and history of this beautiful city. We are thrilled to share these works with you all.

‘The Fed’ is now home to an array of works made by our artists. In terms of thematic representation, this week we thought it would be fun to take a closer look at the curated works in The Fed that touch on the desire to modernize the hotels aesthetic.

Pictured: Marguerite Moore, CA, Hull Coastline, oil on paper, 7" x 7"

Redefining the Horizon: Copley Artist Marguerite Moore illustrates a cool, abstract depiction of the city’s coastline through linear, gestural brushstrokes. Taking inspiration from organic elements that can be found throughout New England, Moore redefines these places through space and composition. While most of us consider the urban environment indomitable, Moore repositions the ocean as the triumphant force by stretching its proportion to fill most of the page. Here, the city’s coastline is a fine line wedged between the sea and the sky, surrounded by a hue of blue.

Pictured: Raymond Gilbert, Part 1, mixed media painting, 7” x 8"

Reconfiguring the Urban Rhythm: Artist Raymond Gilbert continues this trend of abstraction; through his gestural strokes, Gilbert reconfigures line, color and composition. The sense of depth we see in Moore’s work is not present here; instead, we observe a symphony of unique shapes and figures overlapping one another in a two-dimensional form. In Gilbert’s piece, the bustle of urban living is accentuated; each figurative line serves as a unique voice hustling to the beat of their own, vibrant song.

Pictured: Doron Putka, Elisa 1, papercut collage, 9” x 11”

Reconstructing Portraiture: Artist Doron Putka is known for her abstract papercut collages, which often include human subjects. Here, by utilizing neutral tones and geometric shapes, Putka gives her subject a new life by animating her features in this Cubist, two-dimensional manner. The decision to include only a fraction of the subject’s features creates a sense of mystery; who is this woman? Who/what is she looking at? In what ways is her expression subjective?

Pictured: Meg McLean, Tutti Frutti - Reflection, oil, 6” x 6”

Redesigning the Current: Here, artist Meg McLean plays with proportion and line to illustrate the lyrical, harmonious dance between earth and sky. Through her distinct color pallet, we can imagine these forms coming together as one behind the landscape in the background of the image.

Once again, we are incredibly grateful to have been given the opportunity to help represent this beloved city and even more grateful to each person that helped make this vision come to life. We wish the Langham Hotel the best of luck as they embark on this new chapter!