Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel

 

Rosemarie Trockel (*1952) is widely regarded as the most important and influential conceptual artist in Germany. Her sculptures, collages, ceramics, knitted works, drawings and photographs are noted for their subtle social critique and range of subversive, aesthetic strategies—including the reinterpretation of “feminine” techniques, the ironic shifting of cultural codes, a delight in paradox, and a refusal to conform to the commercial and institutional ideologies of the art system. The Cologne-based artist has been associated with the gallery since 1982.

 

Read more

Trockel made her mark in the 1980s with a series of machine-knitted wool paintings that superficially mimic the aesthetics of abstract paintings. They are rendered in monochrome or feature rhombic patterns, checks, stripes and classic knitting patterns, but also speech bubbles, trademarks including “Made in Western Germany” or the Woolmark, and logos such as the Playboy bunny or hammer and sickle. Rife with art-historical references, they draw upon Pop, minimalism, Op art and modernist abstraction. Trockel confronted the patriarchal dominance of the art world with a material more evocative of womanly housework than an artistic medium—one that was associated with virtuous diligence and had historically been used to temper women’s imagination and ambitions.

Trockel’s sculptures are characterized by a similar interplay of virtuosic irony, aesthetic-analytical sensitivity and socio-political provocation. One example are Trockel’s iconic hotplate works, for which she transforms the hotplates on electric cookers into wall reliefs, floor objects or sculptures that resemble loudspeakers and record players. The artist’s sculptural oeuvre spans from the so-called Schizo-Pullover (1988), a sweater with two necklines, to Jesus figures whose sex is revealed under a loose loincloth. It also includes a series of “animal homes” that playfully imagine dwellings for animals, going so far as to convert a wig into a House for Lice (1994). The artist has also been designing so-called Moving Walls since the early 2000s, works made of coated aluminum discs that are attached to a wall like moving sequins, transforming the wall into a picture surface that refracts light in various ways. The artist’s objects are almost always defined by a focus on the viewer’s particular physical experience in their perceptive interaction with the artwork. Constantly shifting, they undermine viewers’ understanding of objects so as to generate new, unforeseen meanings.

Trockel’s oeuvre is fueled both materially and conceptually by a constant process of collecting, overwriting and re-ordering. This impulse becomes clearly apparent in her more recent Cluster (2015–present) works, which consist of digitally reconfigured photographs that the artist recombines with idiosyncratic logic to form a kind of visual diary for various exhibitions. Or in her more recent collages, for which she applies various materials to painted wooden frames in an assemblage-like arrangement. Some of these materials quote her own works, a method that allows her to bring her radically open, free and constantly changing creative process to the fore. Trockel regards the artwork as an unstable aggregate of form and concept, deploying this radical instability to dismantle a range of cultural categories, rules and dogmas.

 

Works
Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled, 1985

Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled, 1985
Wool (beige – black) on canvas, plexi glass frame
65.4 × 65.5 × 3 cm
25 3/4 × 25 7/8 × 1 1/8 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel
In einer Nacht von Schwarz zu Weiß, 2007

Rosemarie Trockel
In einer Nacht von Schwarz zu Weiß, 2007
Ceramics, glazed
62 × 69 × 34 cm
24 1/2 × 27 1/4 × 13 1/2 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel
Shutter 2, 2010

Rosemarie Trockel
Shutter 2, 2010
Ceramics, glazed
95 × 68 × 5 cm
37 1/2 × 26 3/4 × 2 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel
Divided we laugh, 2016

Rosemarie Trockel
Divided we laugh, 2016
Acrylic wool on canvas, framed in plexi glass
120 × 100 cm
47 1/4 × 39 3/8 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel
Pinstripe 1, 2016

Rosemarie Trockel
Pinstripe 1, 2016
Acrylic wool on canvas, framed in plexi glass
50 × 50 × 5 cm
19 3/4 × 19 3/4 × 2 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel
CLUSTER II - Prisoner of Yourself, 2015

Rosemarie Trockel
CLUSTER II – Prisoner of Yourself, 2015
19 digital prints on alu dibond
240 × 452 cm
94 1/2 x 178 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel
Ageism, 2005

Rosemarie Trockel
Ageism, 2005
Plaster, steel, plastic, cotton
40 x 60 x 26.4 cm
15 3/4 x 23 5/8 x 10 3/8 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled, 2005

Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled, 2005
Wood, paint, fake hair, fabric, metal, plastic
41 × 31 × 36 cm
16 1/8 × 12 1/8 × 14 1/8 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled, 2002

Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled, 2002
Wool (patchwork) on canvas
180 × 400 cm
70 3/4 × 157 1/2 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled, 1991

Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled, 1991
Iron, enamel coated steel, 6 hot plates
150 x 125 x 10 cm
59 x 49 1/8 x 4 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel
Replace Me, 2011

Rosemarie Trockel
Replace Me, 2011
Acrystal, steel, wool, plastic, mixed media
80 × 420 × 71 cm
31 1/2 × 165 3/8 × 28 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel
Replace Me, 1994/2010

Rosemarie Trockel
Replace Me, 1994/2010
Mixed media
68 × 58 × 4.8 cm
26 3/4 × 22 7/8 × 2 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel
Childless Figure, 1970/2011

Rosemarie Trockel
Childless Figure, 1970/2011
Mixed media
92 × 134 × 4.8 cm
36 1/8 × 52 3/4 × 2 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel
No Woman No Cry, 2000

Rosemarie Trockel
No Woman No Cry, 2000
50 Aluminium plates (Dibond)
414 × 509 cm (50 plates)
163 x 200 3/8 inches (50 plates)

More views
Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel
Wette gegen sich selbst, 2005

Rosemarie Trockel
Wette gegen sich selbst, 2005
Mixed media
14 × 44 × 22 cm
5 1/2 × 17 1/4 × 8 5/8 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel
My Dear Colleagues, 1986

Rosemarie Trockel
My Dear Colleagues, 1986
Wool (red-white), plastics
51 × 40 × 8 cm
20 × 15 3/4 × 3 1/8 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled (Was wäre, wenn es Freud nicht gegeben hätte), 1992

Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled (Was wäre, wenn es Freud nicht gegeben hätte), 1992
Wool (orange, black), wire, cotton
ø 45 cm
ø 17 3/4 inches

Details
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled, 1985
Wool (beige – black) on canvas, plexi glass frame
65.4 × 65.5 × 3 cm
25 3/4 × 25 7/8 × 1 1/8 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled, 1985
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
In einer Nacht von Schwarz zu Weiß, 2007
Ceramics, glazed
62 × 69 × 34 cm
24 1/2 × 27 1/4 × 13 1/2 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
In einer Nacht von Schwarz zu Weiß, 2007
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
Shutter 2, 2010
Ceramics, glazed
95 × 68 × 5 cm
37 1/2 × 26 3/4 × 2 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Shutter 2, 2010
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
Divided we laugh, 2016
Acrylic wool on canvas, framed in plexi glass
120 × 100 cm
47 1/4 × 39 3/8 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Divided we laugh, 2016
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
Pinstripe 1, 2016
Acrylic wool on canvas, framed in plexi glass
50 × 50 × 5 cm
19 3/4 × 19 3/4 × 2 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Pinstripe 1, 2016
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
CLUSTER II – Prisoner of Yourself, 2015
19 digital prints on alu dibond
240 × 452 cm
94 1/2 x 178 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
CLUSTER II - Prisoner of Yourself, 2015
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
Ageism, 2005
Plaster, steel, plastic, cotton
40 x 60 x 26.4 cm
15 3/4 x 23 5/8 x 10 3/8 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Ageism, 2005
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled, 2005
Wood, paint, fake hair, fabric, metal, plastic
41 × 31 × 36 cm
16 1/8 × 12 1/8 × 14 1/8 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled, 2005
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled, 2002
Wool (patchwork) on canvas
180 × 400 cm
70 3/4 × 157 1/2 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled, 2002
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled, 1991
Iron, enamel coated steel, 6 hot plates
150 x 125 x 10 cm
59 x 49 1/8 x 4 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled, 1991
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
Replace Me, 2011
Acrystal, steel, wool, plastic, mixed media
80 × 420 × 71 cm
31 1/2 × 165 3/8 × 28 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Replace Me, 2011
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
Replace Me, 1994/2010
Mixed media
68 × 58 × 4.8 cm
26 3/4 × 22 7/8 × 2 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Replace Me, 1994/2010
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
Childless Figure, 1970/2011
Mixed media
92 × 134 × 4.8 cm
36 1/8 × 52 3/4 × 2 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Childless Figure, 1970/2011
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
No Woman No Cry, 2000
50 Aluminium plates (Dibond)
414 × 509 cm (50 plates)
163 x 200 3/8 inches (50 plates)

Rosemarie Trockel
No Woman No Cry, 2000
Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
No Woman No Cry, 2000 (detail)

Rosemarie Trockel
No Woman No Cry, 2000
Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
No Woman No Cry, 2000 (detail)

Rosemarie Trockel
No Woman No Cry, 2000
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
Wette gegen sich selbst, 2005
Mixed media
14 × 44 × 22 cm
5 1/2 × 17 1/4 × 8 5/8 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Wette gegen sich selbst, 2005
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
My Dear Colleagues, 1986
Wool (red-white), plastics
51 × 40 × 8 cm
20 × 15 3/4 × 3 1/8 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
My Dear Colleagues, 1986
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled (Was wäre, wenn es Freud nicht gegeben hätte), 1992
Wool (orange, black), wire, cotton
ø 45 cm
ø 17 3/4 inches

Rosemarie Trockel
Untitled (Was wäre, wenn es Freud nicht gegeben hätte), 1992
Details
icon_fullscreen
1 of 17

 

Current and Upcoming
Rosemarie Trockel
Rutherford Chang, We Buy White Albums, 2013–2019. Photo: Henning Rogge/Deichtorhallen Hamburg, 2019

Black Album / White Cube. A journey into Art and Music
Kunsthal Rotterdam, Rotterdam
June 20, 2020–January 10, 2021

Music rules! In the exhibition Black Album / White Cube at Kunsthal Rotterdam 35 internationally renowned artists and musicians present almost 200 works of contemporary art – multimedia installations, sculptures, videos and paintings. The exhibition reveals what happens when the worlds of art and pop music meet.

Link

Mourning. On Loss and Change
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg
February 7–August 2, 2020

The exhibition presents works by some 30 contemporary artists from around the world dealing with the theme of loss. Experiences of loss, grief and change harbour a disruptive potential that is difficult to put into words or capture visually. The varied artworks on view illustrate the kinds of images artists are finding today to convey this phenomenon, revealing the significance that is still attached to traditional pathos formulas and showing that how we mourn can tell us a great deal about our present day.

Link
Rosemarie Trockel
Anne Collier, Woman Crying (Comic) #8, 2019
Rosemarie Trockel
Photo: Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism, Munich

Tell me about yesterday tomorrow
Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism, Munich
November 28, 2019–August 30, 2020

The exhibition opens up a dialogue between contemporary art and the remembrance work performed by the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism. Works by over 40 international artists explore how to interpret the past and its links to the present day against the background of the historical exhibition.

Link

Frank Walter. A Retrospective
Museum für Moderne Kunst MMK, Frankfurt
May 16–November 15, 2020

The work of the native Antiguan and Barbudan artist Frank Walter (1926–2009) encompasses numerous paintings, drawings, sculptures and writings, that will Works in dialogue by John Akomfrah, Khalik Allah, Kader Attia, Marcel Broodthaers, Birgit Hein, Isaac Julien, Julia Phillips, Howardena Pindell and Rosemarie Trockel revolve around colonialism in the Caribbean in the past and present as well as the intellectual contexts of colonial and post-colonial thought.

Link
Rosemarie Trockel
Frank Walter, Untitled, n. d. Photo: Axel Schneider
Exhibitions at Sprüth Magers

Eau de Cologne
Rosemarie Trockel, Cindy Sherman, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Astrid Klein, Marlene Dumas, Kara Walker, Cady Noland
March 27–April 12, 2019
Hong Kong

Eau de Cologne began as a series of exhibitions and three publications, organized by Monika Sprüth between 1985 and 1989, which sought to create a new dialogue around contemporary art. The exhibitions introduced a select group of young women artists, each of whom individually represented powerful attitudes and practices.

Read more
Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel / Thea Djordjadze
Un soir, j’ai assis la beauté sur mes genoux. And I found her bitter. And I hurt her.
July 7–August 26, 2017
Berlin

Un soir, j'ai assis la beauté sur mes genoux. And I found her bitter and I hurt her is a joint exhibition by the long-time collaborators Rosemarie Trockel and Thea Djordjadze. It is the first time that the two installations from 2007 and 2008 are on view in Berlin. The works have an allegorical nature that explores a number of themes pertinent to contemporary art. Issues around the boundaries of media, and the artwork as a fixed concept are called into question, as well as the exhibition space as a representational frame.

Read more

Eau de Cologne
Rosemarie Trockel, Cindy Sherman, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Jenny Holzer / Lady Pink
June 28–August 20, 2016
Los Angeles

The group show Eau de Cologne at Sprüth Magers in Los Angeles features work from the late 1970s to 2016 by Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Cindy Sherman and Rosemarie Trockel. The exhibition at Sprüth Magers’ recently-opened Los Angeles gallery is a follow–up to its predecessor in Berlin last year. It sheds light on key topics in these artists’ works, but also the specific history of the gallery and its connection to these important female figures of an art that subtly addresses women’s roles in very different ways.

Read more
Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel

Eau de Cologne
Rosemarie Trockel, Cindy Sherman, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler
September 17–October 21, 2015
Berlin

This group exhibition at Sprüth Magers Berlin shows works from the early 1980s to 2015 by Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Cindy Sherman and Rosemarie Trockel. These five artists have been working with Monika Sprüth since the foundation of her gallery in Cologne in the early 1980s and have been closely connected to the gallery ever since.

A. R. Penck, Rosemarie Trockel
A. R. Penck at Monika Sprüth Galerie, Rosemarie Trockel at Galerie Michael Werner
June 8–June 30, 1990
Cologne

Rosemarie Trockel
Press

WHAT-IF COULD-BE
Cashier D’art, article by Joan Simon, 2013

58th Venice Biennale Review: Brilliance and Bluster
Frieze, review by Jennifer Higgie, May 9, 2019

Always Judge a Book by Its Cover:
Parkett, article by Christian Rattemeyer, December 2014

Rosemarie Trockel’s Idea of Relief
Parkett, article by Brigid Doherty, December 2014

Blocked Access: Rosemarie Trockel’s Recent Ceramic Works
Parkett, article Gregory H. Williams, December 2014

Less Sauvages than Others: Rosemarie Trockel’s ‘A Cosmos’
Afterall, review by Brigid Doherty, Spring 2014

Interior Motives
Cahiers D’Art, article by Bridgid Doherty, 2013

Wie feministisch sind Rosemarie Trockels Objekte?
Parkett, article by Anne M. Wagner, 1992

Biography

Since the early 1980s, Rosemarie Trockel (*1952, Schwerte) has been one of the most versatile and pioneering female artists in contemporary art. Her collages, knitting pictures, sculptures, installations and film works embark upon investigations into social role-models, gender-specific behavior and cultural codes that she combines with discourses from philosophy, theology, and the natural sciences. In these works, Trockel investigates both contemporary and historical discourses concerning artistic and social identity. Her feminist perspective challenges the concept of the male artistic genius and formulates an emphatic criticism both of the art world and of restrictive social norms with regard to social and sexual identity. Her first exhibitions took place at the galleries Monika Sprüth Cologne and Philomene Magers Bonn, both in 1983. Recent solo shows include Moderna Museet Malmö (2018/19), Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli in Torino (2016), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2015), travelling exhibition at Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, at the New Museum New York and Serpentine Gallery, London (2012/2013) and Wiels Brussels, Culturegest Lisboa, Lisbon and Museion Bozen, Bolzano (2012/2013). Her 2005 retrospective Post-Menopause took place at the Museum Ludwig Köln, Cologne and at Maxxi, Rome. In 1999 she became the first female artist to represent Germany at the Venice Biennial, and in 1997 she took part in the documenta X at Kassel. 

Education
1974–78 Kölner Werkschulen (Professor Werner Schriefers)
Teaching
1998–2015 Professor, Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf
Awards, Grants and Fellowships
2014 Roswitha-Haftmann-Preis, Zurich
2011 Kaiserring der Stadt Goslar
2010 Peter-Weiss-Preis der Stadt Bochum
2008 Kunstpreis der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf
2006 Gallery of Honor of Westphalia (with Annette von Droste-Hülshoff)
2004 Wolfgang-Hahn-Preis, Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst am Kölner Museum Ludwig, Cologne
2001 Kulturpreis, Cologne
1999 Internationaler Kunstpreis der Kulturstiftung der Stadtsparkasse München, Munich
1999 Deutscher Pavillon, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice
1998 Staatspreis des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf
1998 Preisträgerin der Günther-Peill-Stiftung, Dueren
1992 Konrad-von-Soest-Preis, Muenster
1991 Fruhtrunk-Preis, Akademieverein München, Munich
1989 Ströher-Preis, Frankfurt
1985 Stipendium des Kulturkreises der deutschen Wirtschaft, Cologne
1984 Arbeitsstipendium der Stiftung Kunstfonds zur Förderung der zeitgenössischen bildenden Kunst, Bonn
Public Collections
Busch Reisinger Museum, Boston
Centre Pompidou, Paris
De Pont Stichting, Tilburg
Glenstone Museum, Potomac, MD
Kunstmuseum Basel
Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen
MACBA, Barcelona
Museo Jumex, Mexico
Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt
Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Museum Kunst Palast, Dusseldorf
Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Städel Museum, Frankfurt
Tate, London
The Art Institute of Chicago