The exhibition also reproduces for the first time five process-based text pieces created by Mayer in 1969. Throughout the show a program of talks and performances by artists and art historians including Donna Dennis, Amanda Friedman, Mary Manning, and Gillian Sneed explore aspects of Mayer’s practice and her context. The show is on view from October 21 – December 11. The exhibition is curated by Maika Pollack with Marie Warsh and Max Warsh—the niece and nephew of the artist—and presented in collaboration with the estate of Rosemary Mayer.
Beginning in 1969 Mayer’s work featured repetition, serial composition, and the exploration of transitions between language and image. Through the context of consciousness-raising groups of the early ‘70s and an interest in women’s history she gradually rejects the flatness of the page and canvas in favor of the affective possibilities of sculptural volume, color and the texture of fabric. Mayer uses colorful cloth and a vocabulary of dressmaking stitches and techniques to create voluminous, explicitly feminist works including The Catherines, 1972-73. Many of the works in the show were made in 1972, the year Mayer became a founding member of A.I.R., the feminist art cooperative, and were last displayed in the context of that institution during the 1970s.