Rosemarke Trockel is a German artist who works in practically every medium and technique that she can think of, but I have always kept an eye out for her knitted works. Seen in the Hamburger Kunsthalle, this large work from 1986:
In the traditional modernist trope of referring to art in your art, Trockel has cleverly executed the "Woolmark" logo in her wool knitting. She stretched the knitted fabric over a canvas for rigid display.
Whenever I see mainstream artists use fiber techniques I wonder how much if any of it they did themselves. A bit of googling gave me this explanation from a London gallery that exhibited some of her knitted works: "In choosing wool and knitting, a material and technique traditionally associated with the female domestic realm and craft, Trockel explores the negative connotations of these 'inferior materials and skills'. Distinguishing her practice from traditional craft, Trockel made blueprints for her designs and had them produced by a technician using computerised machinery. By mechanically producing the knitted patterns, she questions whether the cliche of women's art relates solely to the choice of materials or whether it is also influenced by the treatment of these materials."
Hmmm. I wonder what was the answer to her questioning -- is the cliche just in the wool, or in how you process it, or in what you choose to depict in your knitting? And I also wonder what she considers to be "the cliche of women's art."
Do you suppose we'll ever get past being a cliche? I'm not sure Trockel is helping on that score. What do you think?