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Rosemarie Trockel

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Rosemarie Trockel
Born (1952-11-13) 13 November 1952 (age 71)
Notable workCogito Ergo Sum (1988)
AwardsWolf Prize in Arts (2011)

Rosemarie Trockel (born 13 November 1952) is a German conceptual artist.[1] She has made drawings, paintings, sculptures, videos and installations, and has worked in mixed media.[2] From 1985, she made pictures using knitting-machines.[1] She is a professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, in Düsseldorf in Nordrhein-Westfalen.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Trockel was born on 13 November 1952 in Schwerte, in Nordrhein-Westfalen in West Germany. Between 1974 and 1978, she studied anthropology, mathematics, sociology and theology while also studying at the Werkkunstschule of Cologne, at a time when the influence of Joseph Beuys was very strong there.[1][2]

In the early 1980s, Trockel met members of the Mülheimer Freiheit artist group founded by Jiří Georg Dokoupil and Walter Dahn, and exhibited at the women-only gallery of Monika Sprüth in Cologne.[1][4]


The Frankfurter Engel, in Klaus Mann Platz, Frankfurt am Main; 1994 cast iron

Trockel's work often criticises the work of other artists, or artistic styles such as minimal art.[5]: 252  In 1985, she began to make large-scale paintings produced on industrial knitting machines. These regularly featured geometric motifs or logos such as the Playboy Bunny or a hammer and sickle, and the trademark: Made in West Germany.[4] During the 1980s, she also worked for the magazine Eau de Cologne, which was focused on the work of women artists.[5]: 252 

In 1994, Trockel created the Frankfurter Engel monument for the city of Frankfurt.[6] For Documenta in 1997, she and Carsten Höller collaborated on an installation in one of the exhibition's outbuildings.[7] Since the late 1990s, she has worked extensively with clay and has also continued to produce both hand and machine knitted "paintings". Several of these paintings were exhibited in a retrospective, Post-Menopause, at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne in 2005.[5]: 252 

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Trockel collaborated with Bottega Veneta designer Daniel Lee on the brand’s 2021 ad campaign[8]



Trockel’s work was included in the Italian Pavilion in 2013[9] and represented Germany at the Venice Biennale in 1999;[10] she participated in Documenta in 1997 and 2012. Other exhibitions include:


Trockel's students at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf have included Tea Jorjadze, Michail Pirgelis and Bettina Pousttchi.

Art market[edit]

Trockel has been represented by Sprüth Magers and Gladstone.[16]


  1. ^ a b c d Nina Lübbren (2006). Trockel, Rosemarie. Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (subscription required).
  2. ^ a b Tröckel, Rosemarie. Benezit Dictionary of Artists. Oxford: Oxford Art Online, Oxford University Press. (subscription required).
  3. ^ a b Rosemarie Trockel Winner of Wolf Prize in Painting / Sculpture – 2011. Wolf Foundation. Accessed September 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Lynne Cooke (2012). Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos (exhibition catalogue). Madrid: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. ISBN 9781580933469.
  5. ^ a b c d e Mirjam Westen (2009). Rebelle: Art & Feminism 1969–2009 (exhibition catalogue). Arnhem: Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem. ISBN 9789072861450.
  6. ^ Frankfurter Engel oder Mahnmal Homosexuellenverfolgung (in German). Kulturamt Frankfurt am Main: Abteilung Kunst im öffentlichen Raum. Accessed September 2017.
  7. ^ Roberta Smith (26 September 1997), Finding Yarns in Video Imagery New York Times.
  8. ^ Samantha Conti (2 February 2021), Bottega Veneta Goes Green for Salon 01 Spring Campaign Women's Wear Daily.
  9. ^ Holland Cotter (5 June 2013), Beyond the ‘Palace,’ an International Tour in One City New York Times.
  10. ^ Judith H. Dobrzynski (17 June 1999), In Olympics Of Art World, Anything For an Edge New York Times.
  11. ^ Barbara Engelbach (2005). Rosemarie Trockel: Post-menopause (exhibition catalogue). Köln: Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst am Museum Ludwig. ISBN 9783865600097.
  12. ^ Jörg Scheller (9 April 2015). Rosemarie Trockel. Frieze. Archived 28 November 2020.
  13. ^ Rosemarie Trockel, Yilmaz Dziewior, Sabine Bürger, Tim Beeby, Volker Ellerbeck (2015). Märzôschnee ûnd Wiebôrweh sand am Môargô niana më (exhibition catalogue). [Bregenz]: Kunsthaus Bregenz. ISBN 9783863356903.
  14. ^ Matthew Rana (31 October 2018). What Is it Like to Be What You Are Not? Rosemarie Trockel's Diverse Practice. Frieze. Archived 2 November 2020.
  15. ^ Iris Müller-Westermann (editor) (2019). Rosemarie Trockel: The Same Different (exhibition catalogue). Malmö: Moderna Museet Malmö; London, Köln: Koenig Books. ISBN 9783960985686.
  16. ^ Alex Greenberger (20 April 2023), Gladstone Gallery to Represent Painter David Salle, Poaching Him from a Blue-Chip Competitor ARTnews.

Further reading[edit]

  • J. Koether (1987). Interview with Rosemarie Trockel. Flash Art (International) 134, pages 40–42
  • Sidra Stich (editor) (1991). Rosemarie Trockel (exhibition catalogue). Boston: The Institute of Contemporary Art; Berkeley: University Art Museum.
  • Birte Frenssen, Rosemarie Trockel (1998). Rosemarie Trockel, Werkgruppen 1986–1998 : Köln, Brüssel, Paris, Wien I, Wien II, Opladen, Schwerte, Düren, Hamburg (exhibition catalogue). Köln: Oktagon.
  • G. Theewen (editor) (1997). Rosemarie Trockel: Herde. Köln: Salon Verlag.