Rosemarie Trockel Receives the Goslarer Kaiserring
||Knitted pictures, stovetop burners, doves, and rats—Rosemarie Trockel has never allowed herself to be reduced to a specific medium or work concept. Now, the 1952-born artist has been awarded the renowned Goslarer Kaiserring. The jury’s explanation stated that Trockel counts among "the most versatile and innovative personalities in international art since the early eighties." Trockel has long been represented in the Deutsche Bank Collection with numerous works on paper. In addition, the bank supported her major 2005 retrospective Menopause at the Kölner Museum Ludwig.
The artist became known in the mid-eighties with her knitted pictures, into which she integrated culturally and politically charged symbols such as the hammer and sickle or the Playboy bunny as serial ornaments. Trockel’s knitted patterns reveal patterns of social behavior: the belittlement of female creativity, the cultural condemnation of allegedly inferior materials like wool. The stovetop pictures were made in the early nineties; they combine Kasimir Malevich’s Suprematism with a primarily feminine notion of housework. These objects are nothing more than black stovetop burners on white enamel, a direct reference to Malevich’s ideal form of the circle. In her work, Trockel has repeatedly called the roles of women in society and the art scene into question.
Yet Trockel’s work goes far beyond these feminist aspects. She continuously investigates theories in anthropology and sociology. Very early on, the motif of the animal became an important focus of interest. For the artist, the way society treats animals is a measure of the level of humanity it has attained. "Every animal is an artist" is the title she gave to one of her exhibitions in 1993, provocatively countering Joseph Beuys’s famous sentence "Every person is an artist." Trockel does indeed work with animals—whether it’s her own dogs or ordinary pigs, as was the case in her collaboration with Carsten Höller for the documenta project Haus für Schweine und Menschen(1997). In the exhibition commemorating the awarding of the Kaiserring, however, her works on paper are the main feature. For Rosemarie Trockel, drawing is a kind of laboratory in which she develops her ideas and motifs. And it’s the medium that most allows the viewer to understand the breadth of this impressive oeuvre.
Mönchehaus Museum Goslar
10/18/2011 – 1/15/2012