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YOU CAN'T PIN DOWN A FLOWER FOR VERY LONG

Rosemary Mayer

  • Exhibition
  • Feb 16 2024 - Mar 28 2024

Rosemary Mayer (1943–2014, New York) was an artist involved in the New York art scene from the late 1960s onward.

Most well-known for her temporary installations and textile sculptures, Mayer’s second exhibition at ChertLüdde gathers drawings, watercolors, sculpture, photographs, and an artist’s book – most of them unseen since their creation, and all dedicated to the subject of flowers.

Spanning 20 years of the artist’s decades-long oeuvre, the artworks move from somewhat abstract representations inspired by Baroque art and architecture to more naturalistic depictions based on close observation. All the works connect to Mayer’s interest in ephemerality and marking the passage of time.

The exhibition title comes from the 1975 watercolor Untitled (part of the pinning down of flowers), which is embellished with a long text revealing many of her interests and inspirations, particularly art-historical. The text connects the architecture and gardens of Eleventh-Century England to “the architecture of flowers” and the elaborate floral decorations of Baroque churches. The exhibition also hosts one of the artist’s temporary Ghost sculptures, entitled Roses (1981), which has been recreated by her estate. Mayer’s photography is also presented publicly for the first time, with a selection of rain-drenched roses that seem to anticipate their eventual decay. Together in the exhibition, the various floral- inspired forms speak of the hopefulness of Spring’s return.

The day after the opening reception, ChertLüdde Books will be hosting a presentation of Ways of Attaching, the first catalog of Mayer’s work, with the curator of the artist’s estate Marie Warsh.

 

VERNISSAGE: 16 February 2024, 5 - 8 pm

 

fig. 1

 

BIOGRAPHY

Rosemary Mayer (New York, 1943–2014) was a significant figure involved in the New York art scene from the late 1960s until her death.

Best known for her large-scale fabric sculptures inspired by the lives of historical women, Mayer’s practice extends to include works on paper, artist books and outdoor installations, exploring themes of temporality, history and biography. A prolific artist as well as an active participant in the feminist artistic discourse of her time, Mayer was intimately involved within a close-knit network of fellow artists, scholars and gallerists, including artist Adrian Piper; her sister and poet Bernadette Mayer; former spouse and artist Vito Acconci; artist Ree Morton; writer, art critic and curator Lawrence Alloway and many others. She was one of the founding members of A.I.R. Gallery, the first artist-directed space for and by women artists in the United States.

From 2021 to 2023, Mayer’s first survey show Ways of Attaching traveled from Swiss Institute, New York; Ludwig Forum Aachen; Lenbachhaus, Munich and Spike Island, Bristol. In 2023, Mayer was also included in exhibitions at the Knoxville Museum of Art in Tennessee, at Artspace Aotearoa in Auckland, New Zealand, and in a two-part solo presentation at Hannah Hoffman Gallery and Marc Selwyn Fine Art in Los Angeles. The exhibitions in Los Angeles were included as part of Hyperallergics list of the 50 best exhibitions of 2023.

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IMAGE CREDITS

Cover: Rosemary Mayer in her studio, ca. 1975. Courtesy of ChertLüdde, Berlin and The Estate of Rosemary Mayer, New York.

fig. 1: Rosemary Mayer, "Untitled (part of the pinning down of flowers)", 1975, Watercolor and pen on paper, 38.1 × 55.88 cm. Courtesy of ChertLüdde, Berlin and The Estate of Rosemary Mayer, New York.

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