Rosemary Mayer: Ways of Attaching

March 5, 2022 - May 22, 2022

Ludwig Forum for International Art, Aachen Germany

Curated by Eva Birkenstock

Ways of Attaching is the first institutional survey exhibition by the American artist Rosemary Mayer (1943-2014). The exhibition provides extensive insights into Mayer’s body of work over four decades: ranging from early conceptual experiments of the late 1960s, to textile sculptures and drawings made in the early 1970s, to ‘temporary monuments’ from 1977-1982. Ludwig Forum’s expanded presentation also includes Mayer’s artist’s books from the mid-1970s, sculptures and works on paper from the 1990s, and book illustrations from the 2000s; all of these have not been exhibited since they were made. Highlighting Mayer’s formal interest in draping, knotting, and tethering, the exhibition focuses on the artist’s process of constructing real and imagined networks and constellations in which friends and historical figures feature in expressions of affinity and attachment.

Installation Views

Photo credit: Mareike Tocha


Lecture by Donna Dennis: Rosemary Mayer and Donna Dennis: Beginnings on the Cusp of the 1970s New York City”

The American artists Rosemary Mayer and Donna Dennis became best friends when chance – and their individual connections to the New York poetry world – brought them to live/work spaces a block from one another in New York’s Little Italy around 1970. It was the most formative time in their young lives as artists: Inviting each other over for dinner and a look, when a new work was finished, was like a celebration and the best kind of competition.

In her lecture “Rosemary Mayer and Donna Dennis: Beginnings on the Cusp of the 1970s New York City”, Donna Dennis attempts to create a sense of what it was like to be young women artists just starting out in downtown New York in the heady, challenging early days of the 1970s. As a basis for this lecture serve excerpts from the journals, which Rosemary Mayer and Donna Dennis both used as a primary source for shaping their works, along with images of their work and their friends, especially those in their feminist consciousness-raising group.

Donna Dennis with Subway with Yellow and Blue (1974-76) in the collection of Ludwig Forum.

Photo credit: Carl Brunn

Sparda-Day Balloon Workshop: “One Day in May”

Photo Credits: Fabian Nawrath