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Hotels

West Broadway Gallery

1973

False Fronts and Hotels

Hotels, 1973

Installation View, West Broadway Gallery, Sound (Jungle Birds), Light (Tropical Sun), Palm Trees Made of Paper, Wire, Wood, Cheesecloth, Each Approx. 68 x 68 x 17 inches

False Fronts and Hotels, Hotel Pacifica, Bird Hotel

Hotel Pacifica,1972 and Bird Hotel, 1973

False Fronts and Hotels, Bird Hotel, Dark Hotel

Bird Hotel and Dark Hotel, 1973

Acrylic Paint on Wood, Masonite, Mirror, Sandbag, 74.5 x 67 x 17 inches
 

False Fronts and Hotels, Hotel Pacifica

Hotel Pacifica,1972

Acrylic Paint, Graphite, Wood, Masonite, Fluorescent Light, Sandbag, 68.5 x 70 x 18 inches

False Fronts and Hotels, Egyptian Hotel

Egyptian Hotel, 1972

Acrylic Paint, Mirror, Masonite, Wood, Sandbag, 68.5 x 67 x 16 inches

False Fronts and Hotels, Bird Hotel

Bird Hotel, 1973

Acrylic Paint, Graphite, Wood, Masonite, Mirror, Sandbag, 73 x 70 x 9, inches
 

Description

In the late 1960s, I began to move from painting toward sculpture without realizing where I was headed. Minimalism was in the air. I began a series of Imaginary Wall works: 7x10 painted and collaged canvases that stood on the floor and leaned against the wall. I added fluorescent lights and mirror strips. By the early 1970s, I was making painted false front “hotel” facades which I thought of as shaped canvases. Although I was drawn to some sculptors: Lee Bontecou, Robert Morris, Dan Flavin, Tony Berlant, my inspiration came mostly from painters: Hopper, De Chirico, Matisse, Magritte, Burchfield, Dine and photographers: Atget, Walker Evans, Berenice Abbott, Wright Morris. I also loved Joseph Cornell.

The women’s movement gave me both a larger, liberating purpose and the courage to draw on my own early experiences. I remember reading Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, which was crucial for developing the central metaphor of my work: finding women’s voice and placing it in the world.

In 1973, I had my first one-woman show Hotels at a co-op gallery in SoHo. The hotels were set up like a tropical village with bird calls and hot lights. The slightly reduced scale of the work, which I use to this day, was derived from my own body: the first hotel was sixty-eight inches tall and the top of the front door came to my eye level.

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