The Dodd Galleries received a generous gift from alumnus Carol Lascaris to travel the exhibition Rosemary Mayer: Conceptual Work & Early Fabric Sculptures, 1969–1973 to the School of Art galleries in the fall of 2017. The exhibition traces the development of Rosemary Mayer’s work from text projects on paper to hand-dyed fabric sculptures and reproduces for the first time five process-based text pieces created by Mayer in 1969. The exhibition was originally mounted at SouthFirst, a gallery in Brooklyn New York in the winter of 2016 and is curated by Maika Pollack with Marie Warsh and Max Warsh—the niece and nephew of the artist—and presented in collaboration with the estate of Rosemary Mayer. Many of the works in the show were made in 1972, the year Mayer became a founding member of A.I.R., the feminist art cooperative, and were last displayed in the context of that institution during the 1970s. The exhibition was met with notable acclaim, as it received favorable reviews in the New York Times, Artforum, and The Brooklyn Rail.
Rosemary Mayer (1943–2014) was born and raised in Ridgewood, Queens. She earned a BA in classics from the University of Iowa. Upon her return to New York she took courses at SVA and the Brooklyn Museum Art School, worked on the production of 0–9 (1967–1969), the poetry magazine founded by Mayer’s then-husband Vito Acconci and her sister Bernadette, and wrote exhibition reviews for Arts Magazine from 1972–1974. She was a founding member of A.I.R. gallery in 1972 and her sculpture appeared at A.I.R. (1973), the Clocktower Gallery (1974), 112 Greene Street (1975), PS1 (1977), the Renaissance Society, Chicago (1981), “The Times Square Show” (1981), and Sculpture Center, NY (1986), among other venues. Her work has recently appeared at Bridget Donahue (2016) and Murray Guy (2016). A publication edited by Marie Warsh and produced by SOUTHFIRST featuring excerpts from Mayer’s diary will be released in December.