With the opening of the Thompson LES hotel, Lee Friedlander brings new meaning to the term “artistic residence.” Over each of the 141 beds in this downtown Manhattan hotel, a wall mounted light box will illuminate black -and-white photographs from Friedlander’s apple and olive tree series, seven variants in all. “Our approach was to integrate the work in an architectural context rather than treat it as an applied afterthought,” says the hotel’s interior designer, Jim Walrod. The photographer is in good company: the lobby features a giant color-field painting by Peter Halley, and at the bottom of the outdoor poll, Andy Warhol gazes up from a Gerard Malanga filmstrip that has been acid-etched into the tiles. So, while a handful of locals might bemoan the continuing gentrification of Lower East Side, few can complain about the hotel’s artistic pedigree. Powers, Bill. New York Times Style Magazine. (2008, June 9) Bedtime Stories [online magazine].
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