Art and gastronomy exist in perfect harmony at Isa Gastrobar, the cocktail bar with a roguish touch that opened its doors a few months ago on the first floor of Four Seasons Hotel Madrid and whose name pays tribute to one of the greatest and most important monarchs in Spanish history.
The space is made up of five distinct and separable areas that were designed by the American interior design firm AvroKO and that are all interconnected through art. Emerging artists and replicas that pay tribute to great modernist paintings at the National Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum are just some of the pieces that Paloma Fernández-Iriondo (art expert and Project Art Manager for the art collection at Four Seasons Hotel Madrid) has chosen as part of a five-year project that encompasses nearly 1,500 pieces throughout the Hotel.
Isa is the new place-to-be in the capital, where not only can a unique liquid menu and gastronomic experience be enjoyed but where visitors will discover history in every corner, and where the carefully selected Japanese art of Kintsugi (based on the restoration of broken pieces with gold) collides with Ikibana (inspired by floral decorations) and even the best years of the Movida Madrileña.
The essence of what was once the Banco Español de Crédito has been perfectly preserved, a classical mix of warm wooden paneling, decorative moldings on the ceiling, fabrics decorated with gold leaf and patterns that evoke the romantic period that previously inhabited this space and from which certain pieces remain intact, such as the marble artwork located at the heart of ISA. Above that and two meters (6.5 feet) wide, a magical piece watches over the main room and catches the eye of everybody who walks in.
Kintsugi, the art of restoring ceramic pieces with gold leaf, “a lifestyle philosophy”
Entitled Cicatrices de Oro, a number of pieces in the “Himiko Lab” were created by the artist Sandra Val, for which she has used the enamel technique, collage and ink on paper. The artist de-constructs and re-constructs the idea of a ceramic object in two dimensions using gold leaf in clear reference to Kintsugi, the Japanese art of restoring ceramic pieces with lacquer and gold leaf, breathing new life into the pieces that emerge.
A Jardín híbrido above the main room at ISA
Resulting from a close partnership with the interior design firm, the artist Sandra Val was directly involved in this space and created Jardín híbrido on the ceiling, a refined and subtle representation of oriental reminiscences in which nature and poetry exist alongside one another. In honor of Asian and European traditions, this is a space that tackles the synergies of two aesthetic realities. On the one hand, there is a rapprochement to oriental culture in which certain elements from nature in this mural painting are represented through the use of gold leaf. On the other, there is a pictorial construction using the oil technique in which the color palette takes on the characteristic traits of some of the great forerunners of European art culture.
Photographs by Manuel Outumuro, a reinterpretation of masterpieces
The renowned photographer Manuel Outumuro has hung a number of creations in which Spanish film actors and actresses interpret masterpieces from the works of Velázquez, Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso, and Julio Romero de Torres.
Textile and ceramic as a different form of sculpture
The library area features pastel colors, with fabrics in various shades of blue and beige. The creative work by FORMABESTA is prominently on display here. This collective of Galician artists set up by Salvador Cidrás and Juan Cidrás has produced pieces made from merino wool and wood to investigate the three-dimensional possibilities of looms from a sculptural perspective, giving the space its own personality.
A passion for art that is embodied in the Red Room at Isa through a union between the National Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Hotel
The passion for art shared by the Hotel and the museum has led them to embark on a joint project that seeks to bring major masterpieces from modern painting closer to the public. A total of 16 pieces were selected from the collection at the Madrid art gallery. These have been reproduced and put on display in various spaces around the Hotel, including the Red Room at ISA where the walls of the space are protected by some impressive wooden paneling and provide a great backdrop for the display of ten reproductions of pieces from the art gallery. These are split into two groups that are highly characteristic of that significant collection: portraits and abstraction. They include Seated Man by Paul Cézanne and Composition II by Theo van Doesburg, and complete the outstanding art collection to be found at the Gastrobar.
Isa Gastrobar is open Tuesday to Saturday beginning at 7 pm.
For more information or to make a reservation, head over to the official website.
Earlier this month, another of the hotel’s restaurants, Dani Brasserie, unveiled a new cocktail menu inspired by Spanish artists.