Times Square Show,
New York, 1981

Rosemary Mayer’s series of Ghosts are sculptures that conjured the transience of anonymous “presences” that the artist sensed in empty spaces, made of wood coated with metallic paint, lightweight paper and bits of pale fabric. She made these objects throughout the 1980s, often through the support of artist residencies at small university galleries in the US. The first Ghost appeared on the occasion of the Times Square Show, an ad-hoc exhibition in June 1980 organized by the collectives Colab and Fashion Moda. The show was held in a former massage parlor—a typical location in the then-seedy district—with the work of over a hundred artists, including rising stars.

Mayer installed a Ghost in the basement along with a painted flag of women’s first names, intended to remind the viewers of the nameless, long-dead prostitutes who worked in the building.

©2020 The Rosemary Mayer Estate