Rosemarie Trockel

Biography of Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel is a German conceptual artist who draws on themes of sexuality and feminism to criticize the contemporary art scene. Her body of works includes objects, plastics, videos, installations and drawings but she is perhaps most famous for her knitted pieces and wool paintings. Rosemarie Trockel often generates controversy with her pieces, most notably her installation Haus für Menschen und Schweine (A House for Pigs and People) which was created together with Carsten Höller for documenta 10 in 1997 and caused a huge scandal.


Born in 1952 Rosemarie Trockel rose to prominence in the 1980s after she became one the first artists to show at Monika Sprüth gallery. She is constantly experimenting with new mediums and styles, often making use of found artifacts to explore themes of eroticism, fantasy and politics. Rosemarie Trockel uses wool and knitting—a material and activity traditionally associated with feminine domesticity as a way of exploring the negative connotations of such skills. She subverts this original domestic context and challenges the inferior status of knitting in the art world. Her wool paintings are constructed from geometric patterns that feature the Playboy Bunny logo and the hammer and sickle icon to comment on our consumerist society. Rosemarie Trockel’s wider body of work is constructed from a similarly poetic and explicitly feminine perspective. In addition to unique works, Trockel also produces limited editions in the form of silkscreens and prints.


Solo exhibitions of Rosemarie Trockel’s work have been held at institutions all over the world, most notably at the New Museum in New York, Gladstone Gallery in New York, Museum Ludwig in Cologne and the Serpentine Gallery in London. Her works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the Kunstmuseum Basel. She currently lives and works in Cologne, Germany and is a professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

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