Hannah Hoffman, Marc Selwyn Fine Art, 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 very 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 across two gallery locations and including new site-specific work, provides a unique insight into Mayer’s process by introducing works that haven’t been exhibited since the time in which they were made and platforming the interplay of documentation, drawing, and sculpture to encapsulate Mayer’s fundamental interests.
This multi-site exhibition allows the dazzling scope and richness of her practice to be digested through two different approaches: a more traditional focused presentation at Marc Selwyn, where two related bodies of Mayer’s work from the late 1970s and early 1980s will be displayed side by side, and an expansive, non-linear presenta- tion at Hannah Hoffman that contains work crafted as early as 1971 through 1993, and including a new work 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 the blurring between self-making and art-making.
The presentation at Marc Selwyn focuses on a series of unre- alized 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 the sculptural form for which Mayer is best known, will be on view at Hannah Hoffman.
Consisting of an internal structure made out 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. Wall-sculptures called Flotsam, from 1993, made of rabbit-skin glue and cheesecloth, and a new work from Mayer’s ever-evolving series of ephemeral sculptures called 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 “im- possible” fabric constructions, fantasies of sculpture unfettered by space, size, material, or money. They exude an unrealized melan- choly, embracing the nuance that undergirds the traditionally beau- tiful. 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.
As a continuation of Mayer’s consistent attraction to the imper- manent, these two presentations will coincide with a new 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 day-long 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 high- lighting connections between people, time, place, and nature. It will take place on the grounds of The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills on November 11th, 2023.
Special program by h / e / li / os (Hannah O’Brien, Ei Araka- wa-Nash, Liz Berger, Oscar Corona), Martine Syms, Nancy Soto Stella and more
Saturday, November 11, 2023 at 1P.M.
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90210