press release

Barbara Gladstone Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new drawings and videos by Rosemarie Trockel.

Born in Schwerte, West Germany in 1952, Trockel emerged in the early 1980s as a principal figure in the German art scene, of the generation after artists like Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, and Georg Baselitz; however, Trockel was nearly alone in addressing feminist issues and sexuality in German art. Her ideas were developing contemporaneously with the revolutionary writings of the French feminists Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray, and Hélène Cixous whose works thought beyond patriarchal systems and binary structures (male/female, active/passive, goal/process, etc.), positing gender itself as a cultural construct. Likewise, Trockel's art disputes the fixity of representation and signification, revealing the openness of any system and constant shifts in meaning.

In 1985, Trockel began making pictures from machine-knitted wool patterned with consumerist and political icons, effectively challenging the privileged status of the male-dominated province of painting as high art. These "canvases" of stretched wool subvert the material's immediate signification of women's work and woman-as-worker, whereby industrial means replace industriousness: Trockel designs the patterns on a computer and employs a machine to make the work. The serial repetition of the international sign for wool or a Playboy bunny's ears references the emptiness of the icons of our everyday lives, which, devoid of meaning, have become decorative.

Trockel has always worked in a variety of media, including video, sculpture, installation, and fabric, but drawing has held a significant position in her practice as a site for experimentation and exploration; about 35 new drawings are in the exhibition. Some of her drawings are made very rapidly and spontaneously, while others are carefully executed. She often uses primal forms of marking such as the dash and speckle that "become regimented patterns utterly distanced from the intuitive and devoid of all semblance of personal touch" (Sidra Stich), like the use of icons in her wool works. Animals also appear in her drawings, perhaps as primal substitutes for human beings.

"Always expanding the parameters of drawing, she has worked with digital technologies to dematerialize original drawings -- their reduced clarity intended to enhance awareness of realities that are normally indiscernible -- evoking the revelatory power of the process of metamorphosis, which is a recurring motif throughout her oeuvre. Trockel's spontaneous and intuitive approach to drawing applies to her video work as well. In place of any discernible narrative structure, she typically isolates specific moments to represent larger, more complex sequences of events," writes Susan Harris. In thinking outside of the structure, Trockel's art offers a glimpse into expanded realities.

Rosemarie Trockel's exhibition "Dessins" at The Drawing Center, New York is from February 24 -- April 17, 2001. A solo exhibition at The Moderne Museet, Stockholm opens on February 10, 2001; she will also have an exhibition at the Dia Center for the Arts, New York in October 2001. Recent solo exhibitions include Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; De Pont Foundation for Contemporary Art, Tilburg, Netherlands; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Kunsthalle Hamburg; and Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. The artist was the sole representative of Germany in the 1999 Venice Biennale. Rosemarie Trockel lives and works in Cologne. Pressetext

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Rosemarie Trockel - Manus Spleen