Rosemarie Trockel (City Gallery Wellington, 1993)

Gregory Burke (Ed.), Jutta Koether, Robyn Gardner

City Gallery Wellington, 1993



Exhibition catalogue, in perfect condition.

German artist Rosemarie Trockel’s work explores ideas from anthropology and science, notions of female identity, and the relationship between art and craft. Cooly conceptual, but wide ranging in its references and media, it resists easy categorisation.

Trockel is famous for her machine-knitted canvases featuring abstract patterns (including Rorschach patterns) and familiar symbols (including the Playboy Bunny and the communist hammer-and-sickle). Utilising a traditionally female medium, her knitted works are partly a response to a critic who suggested that women are essentially unable to make art. Lacking mouth holes, Trockel’s knitted balaclavas imply their wearers will be seen but not heard. Her clinical but comical I See Red Wool—a glass eye peeping out from a ball of red yarn—comments on the success of her knitted works.

Trockel’s abstractions refer to the female realm while mimicking minimalist art. She makes paintings from stove hotplates on enamelled steel, alluding to women’s place in the kitchen. Snow Body—a red rug, fringed by poi-shaped tassels—was produced for the show by Dilana Studios, Christchurch. It was inspired by a Māori performance the artist saw in Cologne. Trockel heard that warriors practised poi to keep their wrists supple.

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96 pages, illustrations in color & b/w, 26 x 21 cm, paperback, German/English