A Cosmos

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Botanical Slide Show, 2011–12 Slide Projection. Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlin/London © Rosemarie Trockel / VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2011
A Cosmos

235 Bowery
New York, NY 10002
October 23rd, 2012 - January 20th, 2013
Opening: October 23rd, 2012 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM

east village/lower east side
Wed, Fri-Sun 11-6; Thu 11-9
self-portrait, ceramics, sculpture


New York, NY…In October 2012, the New Museum will present “Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos.” Cocurated by Rosemarie Trockel and Lynne Cooke for the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, this exhibition—encompassing all three main gallery floors of the New Museum building on the Bowery—will present a world shaped by Trockel’s ideas, interests, and affinities. Instead of a traditional retrospective, this exhibition takes the form of an artistic self-portrait in which Trockel’s work shares space with objects that have influenced her thinking and her practice. Spanning different eras and cultures, “A Cosmos” brings together objects from disparate fields to compose a cartography of Trockel’s influences.

“Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos” will be on view at the New Museum from October 24, 2012–January 13, 2013. The Museum’s presentation of the exhibition has been organized by Massimiliano Gioni, Associate Director and Director of Exhibitions, and Jenny Moore, Associate Curator, in collaboration with Rosemarie Trockel and Lynne Cooke, Chief Curator, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.

Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director, New Museum, said, “Rosemarie Trockel is one of the leading artists of her generation and most respected German artists of the past forty years. It is an extraordinary honor for the New Museum to present “A Cosmos,” which will be the most comprehensive survey of her work in the US to date, and the most significant museum presentation in New York since a show of her video work at Dia Art Foundation more than a decade ago. With this new exhibition, we will be able to offer the general public a rare view into the mind of one of our most important artists, with a presentation that is fresh in its totality."

Since the early 1970s, Rosemarie Trockel has produced an impressive body of work that includes drawing, collage, installation, “knit paintings,” ceramics, videos, furniture, clothing, and books. She brings together a range of associations and references from art history, philosophy, theology, and the natural sciences. For “A Cosmos,” the dense field of Trockel’s influences will be articulated in installations that illuminate the intellectual and formal connections between her practice and that of a range of historical figures including self-taught artists James Castle and Morton Bartlett, and the botanist/mathematician José Celestino Mutis. Objects whose impetus was primarily aesthetic will be juxtaposed with pieces that more conventionally belong to the realm of science. Trockel’s roughhewn glazed ceramics from the past several years will be displayed in conjunction with Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka’s delicate glass models of sea creatures created in the nineteenth century. A selection of new drawings by Trockel can be examined along with watercolors by the seventeenth-century artist Maria Sybilla Merian, whose impeccably precise yet beautiful renderings of flora and fauna proved invaluable to scientific study.

Trockel’s well-known disregard for the conventional hierarchies in the visual arts, together with her longstanding appreciation of media and materials once categorized as crafts or vernacular art forms, is demonstrated throughout the exhibition. She has adopted a fluid and radical approach to gender, combining activities typically considered feminine in terms of production with aggressive mechanical and industrial forms. This facet of her practice is emphasized through the inclusion of Judith Scott’s obsessively wrapped yarn sculptures alongside Ruth Francken’s plastic and metal assemblages from the 1970s. In addition, Trockel’s celebrated “knit paintings” will be integrated into the exhibition, along with new works made of glass.


About the Artist
Rosemarie Trockel was born in 1952 in Schwerte, Germany. She studied at the Kölner Werkschulen in Cologne, Germany. Since 1998, she has been a professor at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. She lives and works in Cologne. She has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at venues including: the Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Dia Center for the Arts, New York; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and the Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland. In 2004, she received the Wolfgang Hahn Prize, resulting in the one-woman exhibition “Post-Menopause” which premiered at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne before traveling to the Museo Nazionale Delle Arti Del XXI Secolo in Rome. Trockel represented Germany at the 1999 Venice Biennale and participated in Documenta X in 1997.


The exhibition is accompanied by a 240-page catalogue, produced by Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, which features essays by Lynne Cooke, Anne Wagner, and Dore Ashton.

After its presentation at the New Museum, the exhibition will travel to the Serpentine Gallery, London, and the Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn. The exhibition was first on view at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía from May 23–September 24, 2012.



This exhibition is organized by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in collaboration with the New Museum.

Sponsored by

The exhibition is made possible by the generous support of the LUMA Foundation and Ellen and Michael Ringier.

Additional support is provided by Lisa A. Schiff, Åke and Caisa Skeppner, and the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in New York.

The accompanying exhibition publication is made possible by the Barbara Lee Family Foundation and the J. McSweeney and G. Mills Publications Fund at the New Museum.

Special thanks go to Barbara Gladstone Gallery and Sprüth Magers.