Fire at Rosemarie Trockel’s House Ruins $34 Million Worth of Art

Her art collection, and own works burned.

Rosemarie Trockel
Courtesy Museum Ludwig

A fire at the home of the German artist Rosemarie Trockel in Cologne’s upscale Hahnwald district on Monday afternoon destroyed, or significantly affected, around €30 million ($34.5 million) worth of art.

The flames engulfed the artist’s personal collection, including one work by Andy Warhol, and some of her own sculptural works, which were stored in the basement.

Rosemarie Trockel, As far as Possible is displayed in the Unlimited section of Art Basel on June 16, 2014 in Basel, Switzerland. Courtesy of Harold Cunningham/Getty Images.

Rosemarie Trockel, As far as Possible.  On view in the Unlimited section of Art Basel on June 16, 2014. Courtesy of Harold Cunningham/Getty Images.

In addition to the artworks, Trockel’s villa will require extensive structural repairs. “Parts of the house are severely damaged,” a police spokesman told local paper Kölnische RundschauFire investigators assessing the house’s basement said that “one room is completely burned out.”

The cause of the fire remains unclear, but preliminary investigations have suggested that the most likely cause of the fire was a technical failure in a refrigerator. A spokesperson for the police said on Tuesday that the artist was not at home when the fire broke out Monday afternoon.

The fire broke out on Monday afternoon. Photo: Kölnischer Rundschau via Facebook.

The fire broke out on Monday afternoon. Courtesy of Kölnische Rundschau via Facebook.

Although the fire caused a large amount of smoke from the basement to permeate the house, other parts of the building are said to be habitable.

Trockel’s gallery, Sprüth Magers, told Kölnische Rundschau: “We are relieved that nobody got hurt in the fire.” The gallery spokesperson added that the artist was traveling when the fire broke out and has been informed of the damage, but the spokesperson did not elaborate on which artworks were affected.

Trockel is known for her knitted wool “canvases” and tapestries. According to the artnet Price Database, the artist’s auction record stands at $4,981,000 achieved at Sotheby’s New York on May 14, 2014. More recently a glass and metal sculpture by Trockel sold for $90,317 at Sotheby’s London in February.

artnet News reached out to the gallery for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.


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