Door 3: Rosemarie Trockel

Source: dpa

Artists, who force you to look twice and work on multiple levels, are the most compelling ones. A perfect example is the German artist Rosemarie Trockel and her success proves her right. At first it is very often her humor that grabs your attention, but in the end it challenges your point of view.

She was born in 1952 in Schwerte and initially started to study anthropology, mathematics, sociology and theology in 1971 before changing to art at the Werkkunstschule (Cologne University of Applied Sciences). She studied there from 1974 until 1978 under Werner Schriefers.

The upcoming scene in Cologne at the beginning of the 80s proved to be a fertile ground for her, especially her work with the artist group Müllheimer Freiheit and the gallerist Monika Sprüth. During that time she also traveled to the United States of America and was in contact with Cindy Sherman and Jenny Holzer.

She got international attention for her knitted drawings, taking a material seen as female and challenged the Male dominated art world. Similar was her use of hot-plates, which she put on large canvases, similar to the dots seen in the pop art movement. But her art can not only be described as Feminist, as her approach is broader, dealing with societal themes, which makes her art quite political. As she does not want to be categorized subject-wise, she also does not limit her to a few materials. She works with film, photography, wool, and found objects, among others.


Rosemarie Trockel, Cluster – One Eye Too Many, 2018. Installation view, Moderna Museet Malmö, 2018. Photo: Helene Toresdotter/Moderna Museet.

Her position in the art world got fastened through her participation at documenta in 1997, where she together with Carsten Höller showed the Haus für Schweine und Menschen. Also she was the first female solo artist to so show at the German Pavillon at the Venice Biennale in 1999. Since 1998 she teaches at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Despite her success she is rather elusive, rarely gives interviews and lets her art do the talking.