Balancing, 1972

Rosemary Mayer, Balancing, 1972, Rayons, cheesecloth, cord, and acrylic rods, 320 × 275 × 10 cm

One of the comparatively minimal fabric works by Mayer, “Balancing” is a sculpture consisting of two suspended bent rods, upon which Mayer draped fabric in shades of pink. The curved shape of the rods, weighed down by the fabric, give the impression of a balancing scale.

“Balancing” was one of many sculptures Mayer created in 1972, but is the only one still extant. At one point, the work had been titled Sails, and the drawing called Abracadabra Sail Boat, dated in April 1972, seems to be a preliminary sketch for this. This seems to be the first time Mayer incorporated rods to create an armature for draping fabric, in this case hollow plastic rods, and it illustrates the growing complexity with which she combines various materials and her ongoing experimentation with finding new ways to hang fabric from the wall.