That’s the office of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, which “was created in September 1995 by friends and family of Rema Hort Mann to honor her joyful and vivacious life after her untimely death from stomach cancer at age 30,” according to the foundation’s website. The foundation is described as “an advocate for emerging artists and a bedrock of support for individuals suffering from cancer.” (The quote you mention—”I have discovered the truth” on a field of white—is an artwork by Douglas Gordon.) The hard-to-photograph painting recently added to the window is by Romanian artist Dumitru Gorzo, who’s represented by Chelsea’s Slag Gallery. According to a foundation rep, Gorzo’s painting should be in the window for at least the next year. Given the priapic nature of some of Gorzo’s other work—do a Google image search on “Dumitru Gorzo” to see for yourself you perv—we might be lucky (or unlucky, depending on your point of view) to have ended up with this maiden.
“The work is part of a series titled ‘The dream of an Old Woman Sitting on Manet’s Balcony,” emailed Irina Protopopescu of Slag in response to my question. “It was exhibited outdoors in Bucharest 2009.” She sent over a description of the work that gets a little dense, so you may want to skip down to the photos, where you can see it in context: “In the 2009 fence project Dumitru Gorzo makes us leap into the world as dreamed by an old woman sitting on ‘Manet’s balcony.’ The work functions almost like the draft of a book, unpremeditated, spontaneous, there is rhythm and composition, a pictorial universe conjured by sheer creativity. The work is lyrical, poetic, open ended, associative, and supposed to spark thoughts. It almost refuses to divulge itself, the pictures bring forth a plethora of messages, but leave their interpretation to the observer. The viewer walks from the old woman on the balcony towards the last image, the pictorial epilogue, a bird like female, a subtle reference to Goya’s ‘Majas on a balcony’… the observer makes a full circle… life appears as a sum of dreams, interpretations, repetitions… The narrative continuity is insinuated, yet each image functions alone as part of a complex visual order of interlocking components that persists in the viewer’s mind with the disconcerting quality of a dream succession. Gorzo’s pictorial universe fluctuates between dream and reality. He grew up in a small village where children need no money to grow, but they need memories… and a strange intensity… and dreams, so since childhood he created a parallel universe and liked to invent the world time and again. Gorzo comes from a place with powerful traditions, simple, harsh themes, with a sensibility so close to the wound, that automatically lead to abstraction. Yet this synthesis must remain humane, emotional, with big, warm eyes, with feet like those in the ‘Little Prince,’ with thousands of wings, with abstractions that float. Each image causes inner stories to unwind, from a poor fisherman to an unyielding cardinal to a japanese submerged into the blues. There is an osmotic relationship between the real and unreal. The quotidian tempo is kept by the woman dancing.”
Here’s a better look at the painting, courtesy Slag:
Curious about something? As the Smiths sang: “Shyness is nice, and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you’d like to. So ask me, ask me, ask me!”