for the Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles
Modernist architect Gene Summers first met artist Jim Dine in Chicago while working in the office of Mies van der Rohe in the 1950s and 1960s. During this time, Summers began building his personal art collection and the two developed a close friendship. Dine’s art became a passion of Summers and influenced many of the architect’s projects.
The restoration of the Los Angeles Biltmore was one such project, and in 1976, Summers and his business partner Phyllis Lambert commissioned Dine to create new works for the historic hotel—from carpets and mirrors to artworks and lamps.
With the project underway in the early 1980s, Summers arranged for his friend to teach a class at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. During his time there, Dine created a series of bronzes at the school’s foundry to be displayed in the hotel’s restaurant, Bernard’s. The artist incorporated tools and materials found at the Biltmore during renovations into the bronzes themselves to create a series of forty-six unique works.