Fledgling SRO Gallery Flouts Zoning, Shows Daniele Frazier

SRO

Nothing about 109 East Ninth Street screams secret art gallery. But then, a speakeasy wouldn’t install a neon sign reading “hidden hooch!” The façade of the five-story brick building, which may have been white at one point, is gray and graffitied. A bar sporting shamrock decorations dominates the bottom floor.

Call the gallery’s burner phone and the exhibiting artist will come down and open the door. These days it’s Daniele Frazier, who led the way up narrow stairs to an unmarked pewter-colored portal on the third floor. Inside is a bright, tidy room about a third the size of a subway car. This is SRO Gallery, an aptly named endeavor run by Patterson Beckwith, a founding member of the now-defunct Art Club 2000 (the collective’s work is currently in “1993: Experimental Jet Set and Trash, No Star” at the New Museum).

“This is a residential building; the landlord doesn’t know that this is going on, so we have to do all these work arounds,” said Ms. Frazier. An opening reception, for instance, was out of the question. Ms. Frazier has kept the installation simple, with seven abstract works on paper and a few ceramics—quirky vases in the shape of the Frankenstein monster’s head. Leafy potted plants live in the sink near the door and a couch covered in off-white canvas faces the fireplace, which is used for storage.

According to Ms. Frazier, about two or three people visit each day—some of whom are startled by the space. “People walk in and are like, ‘Oh, this is it!’” said the gamine Ms. Frazier from her perch on a red metal stool. “People have gone into the bar downstairs and asked, ‘Where’s the gallery?’ and the bar’s like, ‘What?’”  By Zoë Lescaze

SRO Gallery Flouts Zoning (Gallerist, NY)

 

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