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Station Hotel


Station Hotel

Station Hotel, 1973-1974

Acrylic and enamel, graphite on wood, fluorescent and incandescent light, 6'3" x 6' x 13-1/2"


In 1973, I moved further downtown to a loft on Duane Street. One day soon after, as I was waiting for the uptown subway at the Franklin Street stop, I was drawn to an opening in the tiled wall across the tracks. The alcove glowed with a warm incandescent light that contrasted with the cold fluorescence of the track lighting. What intrigued me was that the opening appeared to be a door that revealed a blank wall—a door that at first seemed to lead nowhere. It stirred memories of the door of the mastaba at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that I had loved as a child on a school trip. You entered a door that seemed to go nowhere and found a corridor to the left that then turned to the right and brought you to a second door, a false door, which led to the spirit world. This was the interface between the world of the living and the world beyond. In the subway, I went up to the street and crossed to the downtown platform so I could take a closer look. How wonderful it was to find a sign in the tiles over the opening that said “Women.” I was onto something. Outside the 34th Street station, I saw hotels and realized that stations almost always had hotels nearby. I went back to my studio with renewed energy and purpose. I painted a pattern of subway tiles on the surface of the hotel work-in-progress and placed a cool horizontal fluorescent bulb over the door and a warm incandescent light inside. Station Hotel was the last of my hotel works and the first of the stations.

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