From Weekend Update February 5, 2002
by Walter Robinson
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A few months ago, Irena Popiashvili and her partner Marisa Newman opened a new gallery, Suite 106, in an unlikely place — a smallish room off the lobby of the Milburn Hotel on West 76th Street off Broadway. They have a good program to begin with, and have complicated their problematic-by-nature hotel-room space with the installation of a kind of architectural frame in its center. Designed by Nicholas and Thomas de Monchaux, the thing is a sort of pavilion, like a dance floor, raised a step up and with a drop ceiling, brightly lit with fluorescent lights. One wall of the space is occupied by a window, and this is the site of a second permanent installation, a translucent green photo film image of deep forest by Susa Templin.
Opening on Feb. 2, 2002, at Suite 106 was a show of abstractions made by Cordy Ryman, simple and familiar works that are distinguished by having been made of cast-offs and found scraps, perhaps an example of the kind of cross between Minimalism and Pop that New York Times art criticRoberta Smith recently called “Elegiac Americana.”
In the bathroom, on a screen set up in the tub, is a seven-second video loop by the young Los Angeles artist Michael Dee. It’s a punched-up snippet of Taxi Driver, a slow pan in on a glass of Alka-Selzer. Sound is very much a focus of the piece, most of it a hissing white noise, which at the end is overlaid by the close-up sound of bubbles popping. The trance effect, as the artist called it, is broken by the faint noise of a truck honking, and the cycle begins again. The videos have an autobiographical element; a second tape shows the slowed-down melting of a pill for Crone’s Disease, was made when the artist was dating a woman with terminal intestinal cancer (who in the end recovered).
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Suite 106, with paintings by Cordy Ryman
Cordy Ryman, Corner Belt #1 2002
at Suite 106
Still from Floater by Michael Dee at Suite 106