Rosemarie Trockel (b. 1952)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Rosemarie Trockel (b. 1952)

O.T.

Details
Rosemarie Trockel (b. 1952)
O.T.
knitted wool mounted on muslin, in two parts
each: 126 x 63in. (320 x 160cm.)
overall: 126 x 126in. (320 x 320cm.)
Executed in 1988, this work is number one from an edition of one with one artist's proof.
Provenance
Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York.
Camille Oliver-Hoffman Collection, Chicago (acquired from the above in 1988).
Their sale, Sotheby's New York, May 16, 2001, lot. 333.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Exhibited
Klosterneuburg, Sammlung Essl - Kunst der Gegenwart, Neuankäufe, 2003.
Klosterneuburg, Sammlung Essl - Kunst der Gegenwart, Permanent 04, 2003-2004.
Cologne, Museum Ludwig, Rosemarie Trockel: Post-Menopause, 2005-2006, p. 142 (illustrated, p. 178). This exhibition later travelled to Rome, MAXXI, Museo Nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo.
Klosterneuburg, Sammlung Essl - Kunst der Gegenwart, Passion for Art: 35th Anniversary of the Essl Collection, vol. II, 2007 (illustrated in colour, p. 90).
Vienna, MUMOK, Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation, Reflecting Fashion - Kunst und Mode seit der Moderne, 2012, p. 211 (illustrated, p. 119).
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
Sale room notice
Please note that all lots should be marked with a dagger symbol. This means that unless exported out of the EU within 90 days of collection or unless you are VAT registered in, and will ship to, another EU State, VAT of 20% will be payable on the hammer price and buyer’s premium. Please see the conditions of sale in the back of the catalogue for further guidance or contact Neil Millen (nmillen@christies.com / 0771 769 3835) for information on VAT refunds.

Please note this work is number one from an edition of one with one artist's proof.

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Katharine Arnold
Katharine Arnold

Lot Essay

‘The greater part of our visual communication, as it is to be found in the magazines, television and film, is no longer provided by icons but by indices and logos. Through the masks of the image, through the signs, through the materials and patterns, we see in Trockel’s knitted logograms the activity of ideology’ (P. Wiebel, quoted in B. Frenssen, Rosemarie Trockel: Bodies of Work, 1986-1998, exh. cat., Whitechapel Gallery London, 1998, p. 8).

‘Trockel’s knit works are parodies, a gentle form of aggression for turning the Constructivist notion of art into life and life into art, into a Warholian debunking of contemporary art practice’ (E. Sussman, ‘The Body’s Inventory,’ Rosemarie Trockel, exh. cat., Berkeley University Art Museum, Berkeley, 1991, p. 33).

Towering over the viewer, a delicate pattern of roses and thorny leaves extends dramatically across the two monumental panels of Rosemarie Trockel’s O.T.. Beyond the deliberately saccharine pattern of roses lies a dark and discomforting concept, magnified by their barbed stems. Both the florid imagery and adoption of knitting stand as feminist tropes, prompting the viewer to consider the stereotypes of women. The detail of the wool knit evokes memories of childhood, the conviviality of seasonal family gatherings, maternal homely scenes and domestic activity, all of which segue into the realm of womanhood and the tradition of domestic craft. However, a darker subtext emerges in Trockel’s selected imagery throughout her series of Strickbilder or Knitting Pictures, which includes the famous Playboy bunny, the cowboy, the hammer and sickle. Here the thorn-like elements stand as counterpoint to the sweetness of the rose as a means to ‘evoke the feminine but refute the usual “female” detachment from “male” modes of creativity and productivity.’ (S. Stich, quoted in Rosemarie Trockel, exh. cat., Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, 1991, p. 12). Executed in 1988, the present work was exhibited in the artist’s retrospective, Rosemarie Trockel: Post-Menopause, which travelled to Museum Ludwig, Cologne and Museo Nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome, in 2005.

Trockel’s wool paintings were originally conceived as a riposte to critical commentary that situated women’s artistic practices outside the established fine art canon and within the domestic realm of arts and crafts. Through challenging clichés and prejudices about women’s art, Trockel simultaneously subverts conventions of male dominated tradition of the auratic oil on canvas painting. Trockel’s art responds to her own perception of the male-dominated art world by calling into question the assumed hierarchy of artistic mediums. Through her use of traditionally feminine resources and techniques, Trockel sizes her knitted wool across a canvas stretcher, mimicking the traditional manner in which the coveted oil painting is displayed. To this effect, the repetition of a single motif endlessly across the empty expanse of her knitted field comments upon both the Minimalist and Pop art aesthetic.

More so, by composing her own ‘painting’ on a computer controlled machine, Trockel further highlights the tension between the feminine connotations of craft and the notion of masculine mechanical production. The work’s mass-reproduced origins recalls the industrial fabrication of minimalist art, whilst Pop art’s seriality, festishisation of the banal, and elevation of low consumer culture are evinced through the use of the humble woollen thread. As Whitney curator Elisabeth Sussman has eloquently stated, ‘Trockel’s knit works are parodies, a gentle form of aggression for turning the Constructivist notion of art into life and life into art, into a Warholian debunking of contemporary art practice’ (E. Sussman, ‘The Body’s Inventory,’ Rosemarie Trockel, exh. cat., Berkeley University Art Museum,Berkeley, 1991, p. 33).

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