Rosemary Mayer

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Rosemary Mayer (1943-2014) was a significant figure in the New York art scene beginning in the late 1960s and throughout the 70s and 80s. 

A prolific artist and writer as well as active participant in feminist artistic discourses, 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. 

Mayer was also a writer and art critic and was engaged in numerous art writing, literary, and publishing projects throughout her career. In addition to the text that accompanied or was integrated into much of her work, she translated Pontormo’s Diary, a 16th century Italian Mannerist artist’s diary, which was published with a catalogue of her work. She produced an issue of Art Rite, the New York-based proto-punk zine that defined post-conceptualism and contributed to several issues of 0 TO 9, a journal of experimental art and writing edited by Bernadette Mayer and Vito Acconci. In her later years as an art professor, she worked on projects illustrating epics, such as Beowulf and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Mayer kept a journal for most of her life, which elucidates the intricate relationships she had with her cohort and provides insight into her art-making and writing projects.

Throughout her artistic career, Mayer’s work was exhibited at numerous alternative art spaces in New York, including The Clocktower, Sculpture Center and Franklin Furnace, as well as several university galleries. In 2016, Southfirst Gallery in Brooklyn held a major exhibition of her work, igniting a renewed interest in her work. In 2017, the Museum of Modern Art acquired some of Mayer’s drawings and artist books from the 1970s. Her work was recently on view in the group exhibition, Bizarre Silks, Private Imaginings and Narrative Facts, etc., curated by Nick Mauss at Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland. Mayer will have a solo exhibition at the Swiss Institute, New York, in 2021.

Collections: Coleção moraes-barbosa, São Paulo; MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau München

Solo Exhibitions
2020
Rods Bent Into Bows – Fabric Sculptures and Drawings 1972-1973, ChertLüdde, Berlin

2017
Rosemary Mayer: Beware of All Definitions, Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, USA              

2016
Rosemary Mayer: Conceptual Works and Early Fabric Sculptures, 1969-1973, SOUTHFIRST, Brooklyn, New York

2010
Gilgamesh, Main Lobby Showcase Gallery, LaGuardia, New York

2006
Beowulf Reproduced,  Bowery Poetry Club, New York

2005
Illustrations for Beowulf, Resnick Gallery, Brooklyn Campus, Long Island University, Brooklyn, New York         

1993
Long Island University, Salena Gallery, Brooklyn, New York

1985
Pam Adler Gallery, New York, NY

1982
Interart Gallery, The Women’s Interart Center, Inc.
The Hobbs House, Lansing, New York
A & M Artworks, New York, NY

1981
Minneapolis College of Art and Design

1980
The Art Gallery, Malott Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Interart Gallery, the Women’s Interart Center, Inc.

1979
55 Mercer Street Gallery and 461 Park Avenue South Gallery, New York

1978
State University of New York at Stony Brook
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
Balloons for a Birthday, Roof installation, 461 Park Avenue South, New York, NY
Some Days In April, Outdoor Installation, Hartwick, New York

1977
Spell, Outdoor installation, Jamaica Farmer’s Market, Jamaica, NY

1976
Monique Knowlton Gallery, New York

1975
Whitney Museum of Art Resources Center, New York, NY

1973
A. I. R. Gallery, New York

Selected Group Exhibition
2020
Bizarre Silks, Private Imaginings and Narrative Facts, etc., curated by Nick Mauss, Kusthalle Basel, Switzerland

2019
Far Back Must Go Who Wants To Do A Big Jump, ChertLüdde, Berlin, Germany
By Your Own Hands, Camayuhs, Atlanta, USA

2017
Ancient Art Objects, Whitespace Gallery, Atlanta, USA
Elaine, Let’s Get the Hell Out of Here, Nichelle Beauchene Gallery, New York
Dialogues in Drawing, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco
Works on Paper: 1813-2016, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York
Fantastic Architecture: Vostell, Fluxus, and The Built Environment, Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, Chicago

2016
Whatever Moves Between Us Also Moves the World in General, Murray Guy Gallery, New York
On Empathy, Bridget Donahue Gallery, New York

2015
Acciones En La Calle: Street Works in New York and Latin America circa 1970, Amelie A. Wallace Gallery, SUNY Old Westbury, Long Island
Static Cling 2, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, New York

2012
Yesterday Amphoric, Regina Rex, Queens, New York

2011
Groundbreaking: The Women of the Sylvia Sleigh Collection, Rowan University Art Gallery, Glassboro, New Jersey
Permanent Collection, at NURTURart, Brooklyn, New York

2008
The History Show, A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn,  New York

2008
A.I.R. Gallery Retrospective, Werkstatte Gallery, New York
Art Faculty Exhibition, LaGuardia Community College, L.I.C., New York

1997
Material Girls, 128 Gallery, New York

1994
Lure of the Local, CU Galleries, Boulder, USA

1989
American Women Artists: The 20th Century, Knoxville Museum of Art and Queens Community, College, Queens, New York
89 for 89, G. W. Einstein, New York

1988
Eight Artists, 128 Gallery, New York

1987
Sculptural Membrane, Sculpture Center, New York

1986
Paper Now, Cleveland Museum of Art

1984
Drawing, Forum Gallery, New York

1983
The White Wall Papers, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, USA

1982
Designs for Productions, Soho Baroque Opera Company, New York
Views by Women Artists, Surrogates Courts, New York

1981
Artists’ Books, Metronom, Barcelona, Spain
Words as Images, Renaissance Society, University of Chicago
Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, New York (Ghost installation)
Times Square Show, New York
Dialogues, Just Above Midtown Gallery, New York

1980
Poets’ Painters, Denver Art Museum; Adkins Museum of Fine Arts, Kansas City; La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art

1979
Drawings, Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

1978
Organization of Independent Artists, Arte Fiera, Bologna, Italy
Overview, P.S. 1. Long Island City, New York
Artworks/Bookworks, Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art
Fabric Pieces from the Sixties, Beucker & Harpsichords, New York

1977
Six Women Artists, Rutgers University Art Gallery, New Brunswick, USA
School of Visual Arts Alumni, Hundred Acres Gallery
Space/Matter ’77, Intercart Gallery, New York
Paper, Rockefeller Arts Center, State University of New York at Fredonia

1975
Group Indiscriminate, 112 Green Street Gallery, New York
Six Women, William Patterson College, Wayne, New Jersey
Five Americans, Galerie Gerald Piltzer, Paris, France

1974
Discussion – Words/Works, The Clocktower, New York
New Talent Festival, Forum Gallery, New York
Tight and Loose, University Art Gallery, State University of New York, Albany

1973
Women Choose Women and Soft as Art, New York Cultural Center, New York
Options, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, USA
A.I.R. Gallery, New York
Materials II, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston

Collections
Coleção moraes-barbosa, São Paulo; MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau München

Selected Biobiography 

Wendy Vogel, “Nothing Independent of Its Circumstances: ROSEMARY MAYER”, Mousse Magazine, November 2020, issue #73, pp. 160 – 179
Andrew Witt, “Rosemary Mayer at ChertLüdde” Artforum online, October 17 2020
Tha Ballard, “Strange Rhythms: On Rosemary Mayer’s 1971 Diary,” The Nation, July 23, 2020
Kate Ilzer, “Excerpts from the 1971 Journal of Rosemary Mayer,” The Brooklyn Rail, June 2020.
Amy Tobin, “The Thousand Episodes the Mind Enjoys: Bernadette and Rosemary Mayer,” Burlington Contemporary, May 5, 2020.
Noam Parness,” Voluminous Absence: Rosemary Mayer’s ‘Shekinah’ and ‘Bat Kol,’” Protocols, Issue #7, May 2020.
Phillip Griffith, “Monuments Not Meant to Last,” Hyperallergic, October 5, 2018.
Rebecca Brantley, “Rediscovering Rosemary Mayer at UGA Dodd Galleries, Burnaway, November 14, 2017.
Dan Weiskopf, “Fragments from the Museum of Us: ‘Ancient Art Objects’ at Whitespace,” Burnaway, August 18, 2017.
Thea Ballard,” Rosemary Mayer,” Art in America, March 24, 2017.
Phillip Griffith, “Excerpts from the 1971 Journal of Rosemary Mayer,” Review in the Brooklyn Rail, February 2017.
“Rosemary Mayer,” New Yorker Goings on About Town, November 28, 2016
Martha Schwendener, “Rosemary Mayer,” New York Times Art in Review, November 18, 2016
Chloe Wyma, “Rosemary Mayer, Southfirst,” Artforum Critic’s Pick, November 4, 2016 (online)
Marie Warsh and Gillian Sneed, “The Diaries of An Artist: The Art and Writing of Rosemary Mayer,” Brooklyn Rail (online), April 6, 2016
“Knock Back a Few With Beowulf,” The Gothamist, Dec. , 2006
“Resnick Gallery Brings Classic Poetry to Life,” Seawanhaka, Oct.6, 2005.
 “New Romantics’,” Michael Scholnick, Cover, February 1988, pp. 16-7.
“New Romantics,” Phyllis Rosenblatt, East Village Review, November-December 1987, p. 108.
Paper Now, exhibition catalogue, Jane Glaubinger, Cleveland Museum of Art and Indiana
University Press, Bloomington, Indiana, 1986, pp. 44-45, 70.
“The Pleasure of Necessity: The Work of Rosemary Mayer,” Maureen Connor, Woman’s Art Journal, Fall 1985/Winter 1986, vol. 6 #2.
“Rosemary Mayer,” Reagan Upshaw, Art in America, October 1985
“Rosemary Mayer, “ Gret Masters, Arts Magazine, September 1985
“Artists’ Book,” (review of Pontormo’s Diary), Lawrence Alloway, Art in America, summer 1984
“Maureen Connor,” Lawrence Alloway, Arts Magazine, Septembers 1982
“Words as Images,” The Editors, White Walls #5, Chicago, 1981
Independent Studios One (limited edition portfolio), Lawrence Alloway, New York City, 1981
“Art,” Lawrence Alloway, The Nation, December 6, 1981
“A Business Stress on the Arts,” Elizabeth M. Fowler, The New York Times, March 19, 1980
“Poets and Painters: Lines of Color,” David Shapiro, Poets’ Painters, Denver Art Museum, Denver Colorado, 1979
“Can Museums Collect Contemporary Sculpture?” Ellen Lubell, Soho Weekly News, June 7, 1979, pp. 28-9
Originals: American Women Artists, Eleanor Munro, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1979, pp. 391-392
Who’s Who of American Women, 12 edition, 1981-1982, Marguis, Chicago, Illinois
“Snow People,” Avice Meehan, The Berkshire Eagle, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, February 12, p. 24
“Art Pick,” William Zimmer, Soho Weekly News, January 24-Febuary 1, 1979
World Who’s Who of Women, Fifth Edition, Cambridge, UK, 1979
American Women Artists (slide set), M. Stofflet, ed., Harper & Row, New York City, 1979
Great Drawings of the Twentieth Century, Shorewood Fine Art Books, New York City, 1979
Review, B, Cavaliere, Arts Magazine, June 1978, p. 40-1
Who’s Who in American Art, Catell Press, Tempe, Arizona, 1978
“A Herstory…,” J. Becker, The Real Paper, Boston, Massachusetts, June 3, 1978, p. 31
 “Rosemary Mayer,” Valentine Tatransky, Arts Magazine, April 1978, p. 13
“Ion and Out of Bounds,” April Kingsley, Village Voice, March 10, 1978, p. 73
“Soft Art,” Ellen Lubell, Soho Weekly News, December 22, 1977, p. 2
“Jamaica Market Reopening,” New York Post, April 6, 1977
“Rosemary Mayer,” B. Cavaliere, Womanart, Winter-Spring 1977, p. 45
Review, Anne Wooster, Art News, January 1977, p. 118
Review, Bruce Kurtz, Art in America, March-April 1977, p. 113
Individuals, ed. Alan Sondheim, Dutton, New York City, 1977, pp 191-122 & intro
“Art,” Lawrence Alloway,” The Nation, October 30, 1976
“Rosemary Mayer,” Lawrence Alloway, Artforum, Summer 1976
“Women’s Art in the Seventies,” Lawrence Alloway, Art in America, May-June 1976
“Rosemary Mayer,” Alan Sondheim, Arts Magazine, September 1975
“Five Americans,” Art Press, Francoise Eliet, Art Press, Paris, March-April 1975
“Woman Have Always Made Art,” Aphra, Winter 1974
“Le soft art et les femmes,” Aline Dillier, Opus 52 International, September 1974
“Le feminist art aux U.S.A.,” Opus 50 International, April 1974
“New Talent Festival,” Peter Frank, Soho Weekly News, June 30, 1974
“Art,” Lawrence Alloway, The Nation, June 29, 1974
“New Talent,” John Perrault, Village Voice, June 20, 1974
Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object, Lucy Lippard, Preager, 1973, p. 69
“Minus times minus equals plus,” Daniella  Palezzeli, Domus, March 1973
“Art,” Lawrence Alloway, The Nation, June 4, 1973
Review, Roberta Smith, Artforum, September 1973
“Suggesting a Transference…,” Paul Stitelman, Arts Magazine, September 1973
“Crafts for Art’s Sake,” Elizabeth Weatherford, MS Magazine, May 1973
“Let’s be flexible…,” Peter Schjeldahl, New York Times, April 1, 1973
“Hung, draped and plopped,” John Perrault, Village Voice, March 29, 1973
“Women Choose Women,” April Kingsley, Artforum, March 1973
“Bypassing the Gallery System,” Marcia Tucker, MS Magazine, February 1973
Review, Roberta Smith, Arts Magazine, February 1973
“Nylon Organza Art,” Robert Taylor, Boston Globe, January 1, 1973
Review, Shirley Marion, Crafts Horizons, December 1972
Review, Roberta Smith, Arts Magazine, November 1972

Books and Writings
“Temporary Monuments: Work by Rosemary Mayer”, 1977-1982. Edited by Max Warsh and Marie Warsh. Soberscove, Chicago, IL, 2018
“Rosemary Mayer: Beware of All Definitions: Selected Works, 1966-1973”, Edited by Katie Geha and Marie Warsh. Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 2017

Journals

“Second and Expanded Edition: Excerpts from the 1971 Journal of Rosemary Mayer”, Edited by Marie Warsh, Soberscove Press, Chicago, IL, 2020
“Excerpts from the 1971 Journal of Rosemary Mayer”, Edited by Marie Warsh, Object Relations/Southfirst Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, 2016

Artist Books
“Pontormo’s Diary”, Out of London Press, New York and Milan, 1979
“Surroundings”, Art-Rite Publishing CO., New York, 1977
“41 Fabric Swatches: 0-9 Press”, New York, 1969

Essays
“Some of My Stories,” Heresies, New York, Summer 1988
“Luxe,” Beauty and Critique, Time/Space Limited, Mussman/Bruce, New York: 1983
“A Moon Tent,” White Walls #8, Chicago, Summer 1983
“Those,” White Walls #5, Chicago, Winter 1981
“Josephine in Time, “United Artists Seven, Lenox, MA
“Spell,” White Walls #2, Chicago, Spring, 1979
“Contexts” with Nancy Kitchel, Tracks, Vol. 3 #1, New York, 1977
“Two Years,” Individuals, ed. Alan Sondheim., E.p. Dutton, New York, 1977
“Passages,” Tracks, Vol. 2 #1 and #3, New York: 1976
“Firecracker,” 0 to 9 #3, New York, 1968

Translations
“Epigrams of Dioscorides” (with Bernadette Mayer), The World #35, St. Mark’s Press, New York, 1982
“Pontormo’s Diary”, see above

Reviews and Articles
“Dan Graham,” Art in America, November 1975
“Arts USA,” Information et documents, Paris, October 1975
“Charles Simonds at Artist’ Space,” Art in America, March 1975
“Sylvia Sleigh at A.I.R., “Art in America, November 1974
“A.I.R. – Women Artists,” Bollaffiarte, Turin, November 1974
“Other Criteria by Leo Steinberg,” (book review), Arts Magazine, March 1973
“Morris Louis by Michael Field” (book review), Arts Magazine, March 1973
“Performance and Experience,” Arts Magazine, January 1973
“Attitudes Towards Materials, Content and the Personal,” Arts Magazine, May 1973
“Indoor – Outdoor: Sculpture and Materials,” Arts Magazine, September 1972
A.I.R. Statement, A.I.R Gallery, New York City, September 1972

Monthly reviews for Arts Magazine, 1972-1974