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CLOSE-UP: REWORKED

Rosemarie Trockel, Untitled, 1988, canvas on wool, 11 3/4 x 11 3/4".

FACED WITH THE CHALLENGE of creating a “cosmos” that would embody her imaginary, Rosemarie Trockel recently assembled a shape-shifting corpus that encompasses virtually every art form now current—painting, sculpture, object making, video and drawings, artists’ books and design. The combination brings to the fore certain concerns that have long shaped her thought: motifs and subjects from the realms of natural history, the creative expression of animal species as well as that of humans, and the representation and role of women in contemporary culture.¹ The occasion for this challenge was the exhibition “Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos,” currently at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, on which she and I collaborated to bring together some eighty of her own works with sixty by an assortment of fifteen other practitioners.² Within this wide-ranging and multivalent

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