Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos at the Serpentine Gallery

-This exhibition is now closed-

Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos, the new exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, is a strange, sideways retrospective, and something of a mixed bag.

Trockel, with curator Lynne Cooke, has arranged her work alongside a selection of other objects, artefacts and works by other artists, the assembled pieces forming a constellation of related ideas, images and techniques. Often Trockel’s work suffers by comparison with the other items on show; Trockel’s knitted paintings seem lifeless alongside Judith Scott’s fascinating wool sculptures, and her watercolours pale in comparison to the Blaschkas’ beautiful and technically baffling glass sculptures. Perhaps this is an act of generosity on Trockel’s part, giving credit to her inspirations and contemporaries, or an attempt to situate her multidisciplinary approach in a larger conceptual context. Whatever the intention, the lack of much explanatory information makes it difficult to interpret these curatorial choices with any clarity.

There are gems scattered throughout (I would happily visit an exhibition of Trockel’s photography alone) but for me this show felt more like a personal curiosity collection than an art retrospective.

The exhibition closes on 7 April.

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