Female artist challenges male dominance in art

Rosemarie Trockel is able to visualise even weighty intellectual themes in an ironic way

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An exhibition by the famous German artist Rosemarie Trockel was opened at the Structura Art Gallery in Sofia on Valentine's Day and will remain on display there until 30 March. The show is part of a series of solo exhibitions within the programme of the German Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (IFA) and is organised in association with Goethe-Institut Bulgaria.

The work of one of the most influential contemporary German artists can neither be limited to one genre nor squeezed into one style. Using the media of drawing, painting, installation, sculpture, photography and video, she blurs the lines between the personal, the local and the global and includes a widespread network of discourses covering aspects ranging from German social and political history to premises of western philosophical, theological and scientific discussions or cultural codes, role models, and norms of the art system.

One of Rosemarie Trockel's central themes is the critical examination of the female outlook on life and the differences between the genders. The largely male-dominated art scene, even in the 1980s, spurred Rosemarie Trockel to dissent. She persistently formulates counter-points, contrasting the male artistic genius to the feminine role and place. Her works reflect a decidedly feminist standpoint and are unwavering in their fundamental criticism of the prevailing art system.

Despite her critical stance, Rosemarie Trockel's works are vibrant, highly imaginative conceptual constructs, vivid and convincing artistic creations. The artist manages to visualise even weighty intellectual themes in an ironic and humorous way, avoiding dogmatic positions or, indeed, polemic. The same strategy is pursued after 1991 in her knitted pictures, which hang on the wall like minimalist sculptures. The artist strips a prop borrowed from the everyday life of women of its traditional function and mundane practical use.

In Rosemarie Trockel's works, traditional and new visual media make astonishing connections for the viewer. This is particularly evident in the ink, charcoal, and pencil drawings, the collages and the computer drawings, which have an important place in her oeuvre.

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