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  • Provenance

    Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York
    Akira Ikeda Gallery, Tokyo
    Sale: Christie’s, London, Post-War and Contemporary, February 10, 2005, lot 253
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rosemarie Trockel has gained international acclaim through her complex works, challenging notions of societal norms, sexuality, and methods of artistic production. One of the most significant female figures in contemporary art, the theme of female experience is a cultural component in her work—particularly female status within the art world itself. Trockel’s work abandons the traditional format of painting and instead constructs images from expanses of knitted wool. Trockel elevates a typically womancentric hobby to the status of fine art. She simultaneously strips knitting of its patriarchic connotations while intertwining it with paradoxical references to industrial and commercial production.

    Her works are not hand-knitted, but instead are made by machine, reminiscent of Warhol’s factory-like production process. Trockel uses knitting books, existing commercial iconography, and generic, widely recognized motifs as sources for her patterns. After she selects each pattern, the material is machine-knitted into the shape of the computer generated design. Trockel uses industrial methods to bring knitted work outside of the handmade realm. Trockel’s use of familiar symbols, both political and commercial—such as the hammer and sickle or the Playboy bunny—subvert their iconic significance. She reduces culturally-loaded images into repetitive decorative elements, stripping them of their connotations and allowing them to become a backdrop for her artistic intentions. In Trockel’s work, readily-recognizable icons are left devoid of their usual significance, becoming just another knitting book pattern and taking on new meaning within her compositions. In the present lot, Trockel uses a domestic image in addition to the ‘domestic’ artistic medium of wool. In her selection of the poodle as trope, Trockel examines the traditional representation of femininity—restrained domesticity, tamed beauty, and manicured perfection. She stimulates the viewer to engage with issues of stereotypes and standards of beauty, while simultaneously creating a vibrant work of art.

36

Untitled

1987
knitted wool on canvas
31 1/2 x 31 1/2 in. (80 x 80 cm)
Initialed, numbered, and dated “R.T. '87 2/2” in pencil on the reverse.

Estimate
$150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for $206,500

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

15 November 2012
New York