purple DOCUMENT purple FASHION Magazine : S/S 2013 issue 19
“ROSEMARIE TROCKEL: A Cosmos,” curated by Lynne Cooke, encapsulates 30 years of the exuberantly prolific artist’s works. Included in the traveling exhibition are enigmatic ceramic sculptures presented against a midnight-blue wall: melted sculptural busts, aquatic bas reliefs, satellite images of earth, a narcissistic meteorite mirror, and more.
These ceramics are impossible to define and just as impossible to ignore, they linger in the mind like memento mori of a future civilization’s ruins.
photography by OLIVIER ZAHM
text by JENNY MOORE
The exhibition “Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos” does not take a traditional approach to the task of surveying the work of one of the most influential and confounding artists of the last 30 years. Trockel’s work and technique are far too diverse and idiosyncratic for that kind of treatment. Rather, the exhibition takes the form of an imaginary universe populated by figures with whom Trockel feels an affinity — kindred spirits from the realms of natural history and science, as well as self-taught artists, whose compulsions to express themselves creatively match Trockel’s own. And so, objects and artifacts culled from different time periods and often created for purposes beyond aesthetics mingle with a broad selection of Trockel’s creations and demonstrate her extraordinary range of media and materials. Knit paintings, sculptures, ceramics, installations, photographs, collages, and videos by Trockel are dispersed across three floors of the New Museum.
On the fourth floor, viewers discover a gallery devoted exclusively to a selection of her ceramic work. The variety of her approaches within this singular medium yield astoundingly diverse results. Chunky primordial forms with shimmering surfaces are set across from cool monochromatic slabs that are laid out in honor of the dead. The monumental cast of a modernist sofa, draped in a wool blanket, stands next to a reflective burst that seemingly references both a topographical landscape and an exploding star. An incredible array of shapes and formations installed on an expansive dark blue wall emerge like constellations in a nighttime sky, mirroring the arrangement of figures present throughout the exhibition and illuminating the wonder of Trockel’s unique cosmos.
The panoply presented alters our view of these myriad objects and goes some way toward breaking down the hierarchies that stratify cultural production, dissolving boundaries between high and low, professional and amateur, fine art and craft, while elucidating the practice of this most innovative and prolific artist.
An abridged version of the exhibiton “Rosemary Trockel: A Cosmos” was presented at the Reina Sofia in Madrid in 2012. The full show was on view at the New Museum in New York from October 24, 2012
to January 20, 2013. It will travel to the Serpentine Gallery in London next year.