Mary Hilde Ruth Bauermeister (born 7 September 1934) is a German artist who works in sculpture, drawing, installation, performance, and music. Influenced by Fluxus artists and Nouveau Réalisme, her work addresses esoteric issues of how information is transferable through society. "I only followed an inner drive to express what was not yet there, in reality or thought," she said of her practice. "To make art was more a finding, searching process than a knowing." Since the 1970s, the artist's work has concentrated on the themes surrounding New Age spirituality, specifically geomancy, the divine interpretation of lines on the ground.
Early life and artistic beginnings
Mary Bauermeister was artistically influenced in secondary school (1946–54) by her drawing teacher, Günter Ott. She studied in 1954–55 at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm and in 1955–56 at the Staatlichen Schule für Kunst und Handwerk in Saarbrücken. She has been active since 1957 as a freelance artist in Cologne.
In 1960, in her studio at Lintgasse 28 in Cologne, she launched a series of gatherings of members of the evolving global artistic movement Fluxus. At her invitation, avant-garde poets, composers and visual artists such as Hans G Helms, David Tudor, John Cage, Christo, Wolf Vostell, George Brecht, and Nam June Paik organised unconventional concerts of the "newest music", readings, exhibits, and actions. These activities have been described as "comparatively non-hierarchical exchanges of information across national, disciplinary and age boundaries", contributing in that way to the character of the Fluxus movement which had been developing during the 1950s.
In 1961, she took part in Karlheinz Stockhausen's composition course at the Internationalen Ferienkursen für Neue Musik in Darmstadt. Later that same year she collaborated with Stockhausen in a theatre piece titled Originale (Originals), which was given twelve performances at the Theater am Dom, Cologne, from 26 October to 6 November 1961. Amongst the performers were Bauermeister herself (as The Painter), Nam June Paik (Actions), David Tudor (Piano and Percussion), and Hans G. Helms (The Poet). In 1962 she had her first solo exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam with a simultaneous day-long performance of electronic music under Stockhausen's direction. On 3 April 1967, in San Francisco, she married Stockhausen, with whom she had two children: Julika (born 22 January 1966) and Simon (born 5 June 1967). They were divorced in 1972. She has two younger daughters, Sophie (born July 1972, father David Johnson) and Esther (born 1974, father Josef Halevi).
Residence in New York
Drawn by the vitality of the Pop Art movement, in October 1962 Bauermeister relocated to New York City. In the artistic circles of Pop Art, Nouveau Réalisme and Fluxus, she maintained friendships with Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely. In New York Bauermeister enjoyed considerable artistic success. Since 1964 she has exhibited regularly at the Galeria Bonino on 57th Street.
In the 1970s, Mary Bauermeister returned to Germany and began to occupy herself with marginal sciences, for example Geomancy, the science of energy structures in the earth. She used the knowledge she garnered from these studies for the planning of gardens, which she implemented for public and private clients throughout the world. The artist now lives in Rösrath near Cologne. On the occasion of her 70th birthday in September 2004, the Cologne Museum Ludwig acquired her 1963 wall installation Needless Needles and arranged a display of the work for several months. In 2019, Museum Ludwig acquired three more works by Mary Bauermeister, Rundes Wabenbild, Magnetbild Schwarz-Weiss and the relating 34 sketches Möglichkeiten Serieller Malerei. 2018 Mary Bauermeister signed an exclusive contract with the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery in New York.
On 15 June 2020, Bauermeister was awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit for her contributions to Germany's post-war art scene. She received the award from the German State Minister of Culture and Science, Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen.
Based on material translated from the German Wikipedia
- Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont, Texas
- [anonymous]. 1995. "Bauermeister, Mary (1934– )." In: North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary. New York: Garland, 1995.
- Bauermeister, Mary. 1964. Bauermeister: Paintings and Constructions. 17 March–18 April 1964. Exhibition no. 5. New York, N.Y.: Galeria Bonino, 1964.
- Bauermeister, Mary. 1965. Bauermeister: Paintings and Constructions, [exhibition, 13 April-8 May 1965]. New York : Galeria Bonino.
- Bauermeister, Mary. 1967. Bauermeister: Paintings and Constructions, [exhibition, 7 February - 4 March 1967]. New York : Galeria Bonino.
- Bauermeister, Mary. 1972. Mary Bauermeister: Recent Paintings and Constructions. New York: Staempfli Gallery.
- Bauermeister, Mary. 2010. Welten in der Schachtel: Mary Bauermeister und die experimentelle Kunst der 1960er Jahre / Worlds in a Box: Mary Bauermeister and the Experimental Art of the Sixties, edited by Reinhard Spieler and Kerstin Skrobanek, translations by Judith Rosenthal. Catalog of an exhibition held at the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, October 2, 2010 – January 6, 2011. Bielefeld: Kerber. ISBN 978-3-86678-449-9.
- Bauermeister, Mary. 2011. Ich hänge im Triolengitter: Mein Leben mit Karlheinz Stockhausen. Munich: Edition Elke Heidenreich bei C. Bertelsmann. ISBN 978-3-570-58024-0.
- Bauermeister, Mary, Alfio Castelli, et al. 1963. Two Sculptors, Four Painters: Catalog of an Exhibition Held at the Galeria Bonino, Dec. 18 to Jan. 11, 1964. Exhibition no. 2. New York: Galeria Bonino.
- Bauermeister, Mary, et al. 1969. Blackwhite: Exhibition of Paintings and Constructions by Bauermeister ... [et al.]. Catalog of an exhibition held at Morris R. Williams Center for the Arts, LaFayette College, Oct. 12–27, 1969 and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Easton, Penn.: Lafayette College.
- Bauermeister, Mary, and Karlheinz Stockhausen. 1963. Manifestatie Mary Bauermeister en Karlheinz Stockhausen: schilderijen, elektronische muziek: Catalogus van een tentoonstellingen, Haags Gemeentemuseum, 1/2-24/2 1963. Den Haag: Gemeentemuseum.
- Dörstel, Wilfried, and Reinhard Matz. 1993. Intermedial, kontrovers, experimentell. Das Atelier Mary Bauermeister in Köln 1960–1962. Cologne: Emons Verlag. ISBN 3-924491-43-7
- Esman, Rosa, and Henry Geldzahler. 1966. New York International .... Design consultant: Elaine Lustig Cohen. [New York]: Tanglewood Press.
- Higgins, Hannah. 2002. Fluxus Experience. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-22866-9 (cloth) ISBN 0-520-22867-7 (pbk)
- Merrill, Peter C. 1997. "Bauermeister, Mary Hilda [sic] Ruth". In German Immigrant Artists in America: a Biographical Dictionary. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press.
- Perneczky, Géza . 1972. Mary Bauermeister: dal 3 al 29 febbraio 1972 alla Galleria Schwarz Catalogo (Galleria Schwarz) no. 114 . Milano: Galleria Schwarz.
- Pfennig, Reinhard. "Dreissig deutsche Maler: Situation 1962". Veranstaltet vom Oldenburger Kunstverein, vom 11. November bis 9. Dezember 1962. Oldenburg: Der Kunstverein, 1962
- Schüppenhauer, Christel, Carola Kleinstück-Schulman, and Desirée Mohr. 2004. Mary Bauermeister. "All Things Involved in All Other Things". With an interview CD from Gregor Zootzky. Cologne: Galerie Christel Schüppenhauer. ISBN 3-926226-57-9.
- Siano, Leopoldo. 2016. "Between Music and Visual Art in the 1960s: Mary Bauermeister and Karlheinz Stockhausen". In The Musical Legacy of Karlheinz Stockhausen: Looking Back and Forward, edited by M.J. Grant and Imke Misch, 90–101. Hofheim: Wolke Verlag. ISBN 978-3-95593-068-4.
- State University College at Potsdam, N.Y. Art Gallery. 1972. Women in Art: Mary Bauermeister, Ellen Cibula, Dorthy Dehner, Harriet FeBland, Audrey Flack, Linae Frei, Sue Fuller, Dorothy Hood, Marisol, Eleanore Mikus, Beverly Pepper; an exhibition of painting and sculpture, March 3 to March 28, 1972. Potsdam, N. Y.: New York State University College, Potsdam, Art Gallery.
- Stockhausen, Karlheinz. 1963. Texte zur Musik, vol. 2, edited by Dieter Schnebel. Cologne: Verlag M. DuMont Schauberg.
- Stockhausen, Karlheinz, and Mary Bauermeister. 1962. Karlheinz Stockhausen, electronische muziek & Mary Bauermeister, schilderijen: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam 2-25 juni 1962 .... Catalogs / Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 311. "Malerische Konzeption" (folded chart) by Mary Bauermeister laid in. Amsterdam: Stedelijk van Abbemuseum.; Groninger Museum.
- Stockhausen-Stiftung. . Karlheinz Stockhausen, August 22nd 1928 – December 5th 2007: Biography. Karlheinzstockhausen.org (Accessed 8 December 2013).
- Velte, Maria. 1972. Mary Bauermeister: Gemälde und Objekte, 1952-1972. Munich: Buch und Offsetdruckerei W. Biering.
- "Mary Bauermeister | artnet". www.artnet.com. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
- [...]"Mary Bauermeister (artist renowned for hosting avant-garde gatherings in 1960s Cologne)" (seminar speaker on 5 February 2009, in Korea) Fluxus Heidelberg Center Blog‹See TfM›[failed verification]
- Higgins 2002, 11.
- Stockhausen 1963, 167.
- Stockhausen 1963, 107–29.
- Bauermeister 2011, 174, 207, 212.
- Stockhausen-Stiftung .
- Bauermeister 2011, 284, 295.
- Solomon, Tessa; Selvin, Claire (15 June 2020). "ARTnews in Brief: Mary Bauermeister Awarded Germany's Highest Honor—and More from June 16, 2020". ARTnews.com. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
- "Künstlerin Mary Bauermeister mit Bundesverdienstkreuz ausgezeichnet". www.mkw.nrw (in German). 15 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
- Official Website of Mary Bauermeister
- Artnet biography
- Galerie Schüppenhauer, Cologne at the Wayback Machine (archived June 30, 2006)
- AskART.com: Mary Hilde Bauermeister
- psst pp Piano – Hommage á Mary Bauermeister Cartoon movie of 10 minutes, by Gregor Zootzky, about the Studio of Mary Bauermeister, at the Lintgasse 28 in Cologne, 1960/62, with John Cage, Nam June Paik, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Ben Patterson, Hans G Helms, Mary Bauermeister and others