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Station Hotel

1974

Station Hotel

Station Hotel, 1973-1974

Acrylic and Enamel, Graphite on Wood, Fluorescent and Incandescent Light, 75 x 72 x 13.5 inches

Description

After my Hotels show at West Broadway Gallery, I thought I had the formula. I would make “hotel” works for the rest of my life. I was wrong of course. I moved to a new loft on Duane Street and began making drawings of details of the beautiful cast iron buildings across the way. I began another false front hotel piece but felt lost. My life was changing. I was in a women’s consciousness raising group. I had read Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own and was deeply inspired by the possibilities it offered. One day, I was waiting for the uptown subway at the Franklin Street stop and was drawn to an opening in the tiled wall across the tracks that glowed with a warm incandescent light, which contrasted with the cold fluorescent of the track lighting. I was drawn because it appeared to be a door that opened onto 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 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 of the 34th Street station, I saw hotels and realized that stations almost always had hotels nearby. I went back to my studio and the hotel piece I had begun with renewed energy and purpose. I painted a pattern of subway tiles on the surface of the work and placed a cool horizontal fluorescent bulb over the door and a warm incandescent inside. This was the last of my hotel works and the first of the stations.

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