Rosemary Mayer: Ways of Attaching

A comprehensive catalogue on the work of New York artist Rosemary Mayer (1943–2014), Ways of Attaching provides an overview of the artist’s work, featuring early conceptual experiments of the late 1960s, textile sculptures and drawings made in the early 1970s, and durational performances and temporary monuments made from 1977 to 1982.

Highlighting Mayer’s formal interest in draping, knotting and tethering, Ways of Attaching focuses on the artist’s process of constructing real and imagined constellations, in which friends and historical figures feature in expressions of affinity and attachment.

The catalogue includes reproductions of Mayer’s writings and newly commissioned essays from Laura McLean-Ferris, Jenny Nachtigall and Jenni Sorkin, reflecting on Mayer’s work and the influences of astronomy, feminism, poetry, religion, Renaissance painting and the New York art scene in the 1960s and ’70s.

Edited by Eva Birkenstock (Director, Ludwig Forum), Laura McLean-Ferris (Curator at large, Swiss Institute), Robert Leckie (Director, Spike Island) and Stephanie Weber (Curator, Lenbachhaus).

This book was made possible through generous support from the Terra Foundation for American Art.


Rosemary Mayer

Rosemary Mayer (1943–2014) was a prolific artist involved in the New York art scene from the late 1960s. Best known for her large-scale sculptures using fabric as the primary material, she also created works on paper, artist books and outdoor installation exploring themes of temporality, history and biography. She was additionally a writer, art critic and translator. Mayer was a founding member of A.I.R. Gallery, the first cooperative gallery for women in the U.S. and had one of her earliest shows there. During the 1970s and 1980s, her work was also shown at many New York alternative art spaces, including The Clocktower, Sculpture Center and Franklin Furnace, and in university galleries throughout the country. In 1982, her translation of the diary of Mannerist artist Jacopo da Pontormo was published along with a catalogue of her work. Recent exhibitions of Mayer’s work have taken place at Gordon Robichaux, New York (2021); ChertLüdde, Berlin (2020); Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia (2017); and Southfirst, Brooklyn (2016). Her work was also included in the exhibition Bizarre Silks, Private Imaginings and Narrative Facts, etc., curated by Nick Mauss at Kunsthalle Basel (2020).

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Publishers: Lenbachhaus, Ludwig Forum, Spike Island, Swiss Institute, König
Year: 2022
ISBN: 978-3-7533-0163-1
Number of Pages: 290
Design: Santiago da Silva with Ana Cecilia Breña

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