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(Super-) Natural History


New Museum devotes three floors to the zoologically-minded multi-media works of artist Rosemarie Trockel. Hear her roar.

Humans and beasts. Males and females. Same difference. Through Jan. 20th, art lovers–and anthropology majors–should check out (particularly if you have checked in to the neighboring Thompson LES hotel) “Rosemary Trockel: A Cosmos,” at the New Museum on the Bowery in downtown Manhattan. Overtaking the second, third, and fourth floors of this now-influention art mecca, it’s the kind of gee-wiz exhibition that you don’t have to be artsy-fartsy to enjoy.

From the museum: “The epicenter of [the exhibition] is a small, tiled room devoted exclusively to the work of this mid-career German artist; reminiscent of a Wunderkammer, it mixes the fantastical, the erotic, and the perverse. The exhibition spaces that radiate from this nucleus throughout the Museum’s three floors have been installed typologically, as in a traditional natural history museum, or thematically, as in many museums of modern art. These very distinct installation strategies generate fundamentally different ways of viewing.”

More: “Trockel’s work in ceramic is the focal point on the Fourth Floor, pairing sculptures that engage issues of reproduction and replication with forms more organic and rudimentary.

“The Third Floor is devoted to Trockel’s works made with wool, often considered her signature material.

The Museum’s Second Floor presents a broad selection of Trockel’s work in conjunction with a selection of artifacts created by individuals not normally recognized as professional artists, whom she considers kindred spirits, nonetheless.

“Many come from the realm of natural history, and from zoology and botany, in particular. The drawings and models they created originally served as pedagogical tools for scientific research but today are appreciated primarily in aesthetic terms.”

New Museum, 235 Bowery, New York, 212.219.1222;