Rosemarie Trockel: New Praesident, 2013. 32 x 44 cm, UV-Offsetprint on paper, signed
Shortly before its 175th anniversary in the following year, the Kölnischer Kunstverein initiated an extraordinary project in autumn 2013 that represents a bridge between the historical traditions of German art associations and the present. Following the tradition of “Nietenblätter”, which was widespread in the 19th century, a so-called “Vereinsgabe” (member’s edition) will be published, which will be made available to the members of the Kölnischer Kunstverein. This is a signed original, whose number of copies depends on the number of members. This gesture is intended as a reminder that the members represent the central basis for the activities of the Kunstverein and that since its foundation in the 19th century the institution has been associated with a definite democratic idea.
In this context, we are extremely grateful to Rosemarie Trockel, whom we were able to win to our special pleasure and honour for the launch of the project. The artist, who lives in Cologne, is one of the most important representatives of contemporary art and has designed the prints especially for the Kunstverein. Thematically, the work refers to the artist’s previous editions for exhibition spaces that depict their directors – such as Hans Ulrich Obrist from the Serpentine Gallery in London. Accordingly, the Kunstverein’s prints show the new director, depicted as a young vampire with a tie. It remains open whether Rosemarie Trockel alludes to the Cologne carnival with a reference to the night figure borrowed from popular belief, or whether she wishes the director and the members immortality.