Hypsipyle, 1973

Rosemary Mayer, Hypsipyle, 1973, Satin, rayon, nylon, cheesecloth, nylon netting, ribbon, dyes, wood, and acrylic paint, 121.9 × 274.3 × 15.2 cm

The work is a multicolored arrangement of draped hoops, which stretches outward horizontally and features moving wooden appendages. Fabric in shades of deep purple, bright orange and ochre clings unto rows of oval frames, which give the impression of floating, billowing sails.

Hypsipyle is the name of a mythological Greek princess, who becomes queen of Lemnos after the women of the city, upon Aphrodite’s scheming, kill all the men on their island except Hypsipyle’s father, who she saves by helping him escape unto sea. Variations of the tale exist in several accounts, including: the 3rd century BC Argonautica by Apollonius of Rhodes, the 1st century AD Argonautica by Latin poet Valerius Flaccus, and 1st/2nd AD Greek mythographer Apollodorus.