Fredericka Foster

Fredericka Foster
Mon, 11/21/2022 - 12:42
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When did you live in SoHo?


Where did you live in SoHo?

My husband Bennett Shapiro and I bought Pat Steir's studio at 81 Wooster in 1990 and we were there until 1997, when we moved to 121 Greene Street, and bought a loft from Gian Enzo Sperone. feel I can't leave because I have a perfect studio for me - lots of natural light and 11 foot ceilings, and I'm still close to many artists who live nearby. I joined the Fischbach Gallery in 2000 after Larry DiCarlo visited me and stayed with the gallery until he left New York in 2015.

What was your occupation when you lived in SoHo?

I am a painter, and at 81 Wooster I benefitted greatly from the fact that Lenore Malen lived below us, and Miriam Schapiro and Paul Brach were also in the building. We would also visit them at their home in the Hamptons. Miriam was incredibly helpful to me in giving me advice. Marlene Yu and Jane Greer were among the other artists in the building. Lenore remains one of my closest friends.

What do you miss most about SoHo in the 1970s?

I'm not a true old-timer, since I arrived in 1990. But what I miss most are all the galleries and artists. Being able to walk out and see an exhibition or go to an opening without any effort. On New Year's Paula Cooper would do a marathon - I remember hearing people read Finnegan's Wake. I would meet other artists in the neighborhood as we helped one another carry scrounged studio furniture from the street. Going to open studios - I remember going to a performance by Mary Beth Edelman in her studio.

What do you miss least about SoHo in the 1970s?

Given the fact that I now live in a shopping center, the past glows for me. All the sweet little boutiques, each one absolutely unique - I least miss their closing, one after another as we changed from a center where I could look out my window and see other artists working, to what we have now - enormous crowds of shoppers and developers constantly trying to get rid of whatever artists are left.

What is your most vivid SoHo memory?

9/11. I was walking down Greene Street in the morning when the plane flew over me and was devoured by the Trade Center - it looked like it opened its mouth and the plane flew in and exploded. The sound of the buildings falling down. The strange glowing light from all the metal and glass as they collapsed The dust.

Is there anything else you would like to add to your profile?


I particularly loved the galleries at 420 Broadway. And Peter Blum's. Holly Solomon. Sperone Westwater. I'm glad you are doing this. I will go through my photos and find things I can add when I have the time.