Frederick Weston: Blue Bedroom Blues

January 6–February 6, 2020
Opening reception January 15, 6-9pm

Gordon Robichaux is pleased to present Frederick Weston: Blue Bedroom Blues, a site-specific installation at the Ace Hotel New York Gallery by artist and poet Frederick Weston. The exhibition is presented in conjunction with the Outsider Art Fair and coincides with his inclusion in Souls Grown Diaspora at apexart in New York, curated by Sam Gordon.

For Weston’s immersive installation, the walls of the gallery are painted entirely in the artist’s signature blue, within which he has installed a series of his intimate paper collages from 1999 and a large multi-panel artwork created specifically for the exhibition. In the center of the gallery, Weston transforms a bench with a fabric cover that suggests a bed (made in collaboration with Martin Keehn). “I make all my work in bed,” says Weston, whose apartment, which is also his studio, is crowded with binders and file boxes of materials for his art—a vast archive spanning his years living in New York. Before moving into his current apartment in Chelsea, Weston lived in SROs and hotels all over the city—the Esquire, the Senton, the Roger Williams, and the Breslin, now the site of the Ace Hotel. Much like the artist, filmmaker, anthropologist, and mystic Harry Smith, Weston's years in residence at the Breslin provided affordable lodging in the heart of Manhattan among a community of like-minded creatives. Weston’s Blue Bedroom Blues brings his life and work full circle.

From a very young age, Weston began articulating his own subjectivity by collecting and organizing a seemingly infinite breadth of visual materials with personal and cultural significance: images from magazines and newspapers of money, food, skin, holiday, and religious imagery; toiletry and pharmaceutical packaging; photographs; fabric swatches; as well as duplicates made with Xerox machines. Weston utilizes his idiosyncratic, encyclopedic system to process, destabilize, and cope with a hierarchal, category-obsessed material world. His use of quotidian materials and garbage, too, reflects his insistence on accessibility and artmaking as a democratic process: “I like using materials kids have access to, like when I saw Matisse’s Swimming Pool, I thought: Oh, he just cut paper; I can do that.” Weston embraces collage for its immediacy as a fluid form of tactile poetry.

The Blue Bedroom Ballads/Blue Bathroom Blues series is inspired by Weston’s experience living with HIV—he plays with the quiet velocity of blue: serene and cool oceanic images, cleaning products, medicine bottles, muscular bodies on the beach à la Tom of Finland, Yves Klein blue, “God is the color of water / God is the color of air.” 

Gordon Robichaux
41 Union Square West, #925, (Enter at 22 E. 17th Street), New York, NY 10003

Gordon Robichaux is a gallery and curatorial agency founded by Sam Gordon and Jacob Robichaux in 2017.

Outsider Art Fair 
New York, January 16–19, 2020
Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th Street, New York, NY 10011

The Outsider Art Fair, established in 1993, is the premier fair dedicated to Self-Taught Art, Art Brut, and Outsider Art and takes place annually in New York and Paris.

Ace Hotel New York
20 W. 29th St, New York, NY 10001

Established in 2009, and one of Ace Hotel’s oldest properties, Ace Hotel New York lives in a historic, turn-of-the-century building in Midtown Manhattan. Ace Hotel New York strives to be a space for radical inclusivity, community and collaboration.

Souls Grown Diaspora, curated by Sam Gordon
January 11–March 7, 2020
291 Church Street, New York, NY 10013

Souls Grown Diaspora is an exhibition that explores a generation of leading contemporary visionary African-American artists from the wider United States, and situates their work into an art-historical lineage shaped by the Great Migration.

Frederick Weston, Blue Bathroom Blues, 1999, Mixed media collage, 11 × 8 1/2 inches

Frederick Weston, Blue Bathroom Blues, 1999, Mixed media collage, 11 × 8 1/2 inches

Frederick Weston, Blue Bathroom Blues, 1999, Mixed media collage, 11 × 8 1/2 inches

Frederick Weston, Blue Bathroom Blues, 1999, Mixed media collage, 11 × 8 1/2 inches

Frederick Weston, Blue Bathroom Blues, 1999, Mixed media collage, 11 × 8 1/2 inches