For artist Frederick Weston, home is where the art happens. “I make all my work in bed,” claims the artist, who plastered public spaces in New York City with his blue-toned pieces during the mid-1990s.
It’s fitting, then, that as part of his new exhibition, titled “Blue Bedroom Blues,” at the Ace Hotel Gallery, Weston placed a bench-turned-bed in the center of the space. Opening Jan. 15, the site-specific installation is presented as part of the 28th iteration of the Outsider Art Fair — a sprawling three-day affair that brings together unique work from 70 exhibitors across the world.
The artist’s show at the Ace Hotel Gallery is a homecoming of sorts. Before settling up in an apartment in Chelsea, the artist lived across New York City in a string of hotels and single-room-occupancy accommodations, including the Breslin Hotel, which (after a conversion process starting in 2007) is now the site of the Ace Hotel. By fashioning the installation within the space, the exhibition, according to the gallery, “brings his life and work full circle.”
Described as an “immersive installation,” Weston’s piece sees the Ace Hotel Gallery’s walls awash in blue paint — a color that has become, over the years, a calling card for the artist’s work. Within this space, Weston has arranged a series of paper collages from 1999, forming a tapestry of images.
Through his work, Weston “plays with the quiet velocity of blue” — imbuing his creations with objects touched with the hue. The materials used to complete the azure vision include simple items that take the shape of toiletry packaging, photographs, fabric swatches and more. Meticulously collected over the years, the matter comprised within his artistic universe reflects what the gallery describes as Weston’s “insistence on accessibility and artmaking as a democratic process.”
“I like using materials kids have access to,” Weston said in a statement. “Like when I saw Matisse’s ‘Swimming Pool,’ I thought: Oh, he just cut paper; I can do that.”
While the Outsider Art Fair officially runs Jan. 16 to 19, Weston’s installation can be viewed through Feb. 5. In addition to “Blue Bedroom Blues,” the Ace Hotel Gallery will also host the exhibition “On Point: Pencils from the Harley J. Spiller Collection,” installed throughout the Ace Hotel Lobby and on display through Feb. 15.
Top Image: Detail of Frederick Weston's "Blue Bathroom Blues #13," 1999. Collage on color photocopy. Courtesy Gordon Robichaux, New York.