Drawn to the vitality of the Pop art movement, Mary Bauermeister moved to New York City in 1962, becoming one of only a handful of women artists to achieve mainstream success during this fertile period in American art. She is best known for combining dense expanses of pen and ink drawing with found objects and optical lenses in multilayered constructions that embody a unique pictorial language rooted in science, mathematics, and poetry. A deliberate logic belies the chaotic appearance of Four Quart-er-s. Bauermeister began by dividing the background into four equal squares, which she then subdivided into four differing rectangular segments. Although this primary system is difficult to discern in the final composition, it allowed her to visualize the overall placement of the text, collaged, and magnified elements. About this aspect of her work, she has said, "The lenses reverse, double, distort the images . . . I somehow wanted to unfix what I did in the background, or make it more ambiguous."
Label from Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960s, June 30–December 30, 2018