The Larry Rivers Foundation is suing developer Joseph Chetrit, the former owner of the Chelsea Hotel, over a missing painting that once hung in the hotel’s lobby and that the foundation has been trying to recover for three years.
You might say it was bound to happen. And perhaps it was. But now it has happened: the legendary Hotel Chelsea has become a brand. Capitalism spares none.
The Chelsea Hotel may no longer be the artistic haven it once was, but artists looking for a friendly place where they can barter artwork for lodging need look no farther than … Sweden!
Everyone hopes that the missing art from the Chelsea Hotel will reappear after the current renovation. But even if it does, there’s no question that the passing of the hotel’s ownership from beloved landlord Stanley Bard to mega-developer Joseph Chetrit marks the end of an era. To celebrate that era, and the Chelsea Hotel tenants who lived through it, four Brooklyn artists have created “This Is My Home: Voices from the Chelsea Hotel,” an audio-accompanied, one-day-only walking tour on April 29.
When all the art disappeared from the walls of the iconic Chelsea hotel last fall, where did it go? The Larry Rivers Foundation is the latest group trying to find out. Rivers’s “Syndics of the Drapery Guild as Dutch Masters,” a paint and wood piece that’s part of a series riffing on Rembrandt, is one of the most high-profile works whose whereabouts are currently unknown, after new hotel owners Chetrit Group quietly removed all the art — or ordered residents to remove it — and began a controversial renovation.
As we dig through our Mail Art Bulletin submissions, our participants have taken to constructing a history of Mail Art through correspondence. We received three envelopes with references to Ray Johnson, the godfather of mail art.