THE WORK AND THE ARTIST
Artist: Bauermeister, Mary
Title: Rainbow, 1973
Description of the Work:
Plain white background as her base, Bauermeister creates two intersecting diagonal bands of color across the page. The central band transitions from red and goes through the color spectrum down to the blue on the bottom. The colors jump from this spectrum and there are strokes of color appearing rhythmically across the band, rounded by the motion of the hand. Black lettering and circular designs decorate the page, appearing like the calculations on the whiteboard of a scientist. The subjects of these writings include the words galaxies, solar systems, sex, energy and god. There is also a repetition of the words cancer and sickness. Phrases appear such as sickness-physical symptom of mental cause and sickness caused by lack of love.
Bauermeister’s conglomerations of circular designs, in this context, can be read on the cellular scale relating to cancer growth, as well as, the macro scale referring to the cosmos. The piece has an investigative quality which pulls into its formula the color spectrum, as well as the micro and the macro of human experience.
Mary Bauermeister was born in Germany in 1934 and attended Staatliche Saarländische Schule für Kunst und Handwerk in Saarbrücken during the 50’s. She eventually moved to Cologne and opened a studio named Atelier Lintgasse 28, which often hosted avant-garde musical performances.
Her passion for music led her to the Internationalen Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in 1961. This same year, she wrote a book called Score for Painters which theorizes how to apply techniques of music composition to visual art forms. Her artwork focuses of the rhythmic ordering of space, repetition and spontaneity, which all take a role in music. Her work also has been associated with a revival of Dadaism. Her work resonates with the same anti-establishment ideas of Post WWI Dada art and the reintroduction of these themes come from her experience as a child living in Germany, Post WWII. After seeing a world ravaged by war, she questions art, mortality, religion and the cosmos.
Her work is found in many collections including The Museum of Modern Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim, The Whitney Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, and has been exhibited internationally.
Signed: Lower Left, Mary Bauermeister 1973
Date and Dimension: 1973, Frame: 30.25″x24″, Print: 25.5″x19″
Accession #: 1980.10.2
Provenance and Exhibitions: N/A
Framed or Flat: Framed
Current Location: This piece is part of the University Art Gallery’s permanent collections at New Mexico State University.
Researched By: Jennifer Abeyta, 8 November 2016