Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Hannah Hoffman, and the Estate of Rosemary Mayer are pleased to announce a presentation introducing the work of Rosemary Mayer (1943-2014) to Los Angeles for the first time. Mayer’s work spans an array of media exploring themes of history, temporality, and biography, paired with a formal fixation on challenging the assumed properties of fragility. This exhibition, spanning two gallery locations and including site-specific work, provides a unique insight into Mayer’s process by introducing works not exhibited since the time in which they were made and exploring the interplay of documentation, drawing, and sculpture.
This multi-site exhibition allows the dazzling scope and richness of her practice to be digested through two different approaches: a focused presentation at Marc Selwyn Fine Art, where two related bodies of Mayer’s work from the late 1970s and early 1980s will be displayed side by side, and a non-linear presentation at Hannah Hoffman of work crafted between 1971 through 1993, and including a work re-created by the Estate of Rosemary Mayer.
Both exhibitions highlight Mayer’s omnivorous exploration of materials. Rabbit-skin glue, fiberglass, fabric, wood, cheesecloth, paper, and balloons are employed to form sculptures whose delicate appearance often belies a surprising sturdiness. Mayer pushes the physical limits of each element to reveal philosophical concerns about vulnerability, indeterminacy, and blurring the line between self-making and art-making.
The presentation at Marc Selwyn Fine Art highlights a series of drawings of unrealized proposals for elaborate tents on the roofs of city buildings and sculptures based on classical Greek vessels. The combination suggests ideas of containment and safety alongside a yearning for celebration. Portae, from 1974, an example of Mayer’s most iconic sculptural forms, will be on view at Hannah Hoffman. Consisting of an internal structure made of wood through which fiberglass and fabric are interwoven, it contains references to the art and artists of the Mannerist period, a recurring interest of Mayer’s. Flotsam, a series of wall sculptures dated 1993, made of rabbit skin glue and cheesecloth, and a work from Mayer’s dynamic series of ephemeral sculptures titled Ghosts will also be on display.
Mayer’s drawings and watercolors at both sites are in dialogue with her three-dimensional configurations but exist as compelling works in their own right. A set of drawings from 1971 depict “impossible” fabric constructions, fantasies of sculpture unfettered by space, size, material, or money. Many of the works on paper also employ text, which pervades much of her work. The title of the show, “Noon Has No Shadows,” comes from a series that pairs evocative phrases with images of beautiful flowers.
These two presentations will coincide with an evanescent sculpture constructed by the Estate of Rosemary Mayer based on Mayer’s works with balloons, from 1977-1979, part of a larger series that she called Temporary Monuments. Five artists have been invited to dedicate a weather balloon in tribute to an individual of their choosing. This outdoor event honors Mayer’s longing to create commemorative sculptures out of transitory materials and celebrates her life-long attention to the passing of time and connecting people, time, place, and nature.
This event will take place at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills between 1- 4pm November 11th, 2023.