In 1972, Rosemary Mayer (1943–2014) became one of co-founders of A.I.R. Gallery, the women’s cooperative gallery, together with nineteen other women, including Judith Bernstein, Agnes Denes, Harmony Hammond, Howardena Pindell, and Nancy Spero. In 1973, for her solo exhibition there, Mayer exhibited three large textile sculptures named after historical female figures: Hiroswitha, The Catherines (named for a multitude of women), and Galla Placidia, named after a 5th Century Roman Empress who led during the chaotic final period of the Roman Empire, as regent for her son. This naming system was a deliberate feminist gesture by Mayer, which, she wrote, was an “attempt to connect the works with women in history, not sculpture as picture of, but as hint to, reminder of, groups of characteristics.”*
WAYS OF ATTACHING—an expansive, retrospective survey of Mayer’s work—is in its final week at the Swiss Institute. See link below for details.
ROSEMARY MAYER—WAYS OF ATTACHING*
Through January 9
38 St. Marks Place, New York City
A Ways of Attaching exhibition catalog will be published later this year.
Rosemary Mayer, Ways of Attaching, Swiss Institute, New York, September 9, 2021–January 9, 2022, from top: Galla Placidia, 1973, satin, rayon, nylon, cheesecloth, nylon netting, ribbon, dyes, wood, acrylic paint, courtesy ChertLüdde, Berlin; Moon Tents for Autumn Moon, 1982, watercolor and colored pencil on paper, courtesy Gordon Robichaux, New York; Balancing, 1972. rayon, cheesecloth, cord, acrylic rods, courtesy ChertLüdde; Solomonic Columns, 1974, colored pencil and ink on paper, courtesy ChertLüdde; Galla Placidia (left) and Hypsipyle, 1973, satin, rayon, nylon, cheesecloth, nylon netting, ribbon, dyes, wood, acrylic paint, courtesy Lenbachhaus, Munich; Ways of Attaching reference room with (hanging), Ree Morton, Rosemary’s Flag from Something in the Wind, 1974, acrylic and felt-tip pen on nylon; documentation of Balloon for a Birthday (November 7, 1978, balloon, helium, paint, rope, metallic streamers, rooftop of 461 Park Avenue, New York City) and Moon Tent (in celebration of the full moon on October 2nd and 3rd, 1982, 6:43 p.m. to 5:27 a.m., installation with paper on the roof pavilion of the Hobbs House, Lansing, New York); Bernadette Mayer, Poetry, 1976 (left), printed book, cover illustration by Rosemary Mayer, courtesy of Peggy DeCoursey, Bernadette Mayer, Midwinter Day, 1982 (center), printed book, courtesy of DeCoursey, Midwinter Day (right), showing Rosemary Mayer’s contribution; documentation of Snow People (February 1979, snow, wood, paint, garden of the Lenox Library, Lenox, Massachusetts) including 1979 photograph of Rosemary Mayer and Bernadette Mayer; Lucretia in Ferrara 1509, 1973, colored pencil on paper, courtesy ChertLüdde; Some Days in April (Poster), 1978 (upper left), ink and watercolor on paper, courtesy Gordon Robichaux, Some Days in April, 1978 (right), colored pencil, pen, and graphite on paper, courtesy Gordon Robichaux, New York. Some Days in April, 1978 (lower left), watercolor, colored pencil, and ink on paper, courtesy of Beth Rudin DeWoody and Gordon Robichaux; Untitled Satin & Paint, 1970, acrylic paint on satin and string, courtesy ChertLüdde. Images courtesy and © the Estate of Rosemary Mayer.