‘I don’t believe in cooking as an art form,’ admits German artist Rosemarie Trockel, famous for her machine-knitted works. ‘I have never cooked anything in my entire life, and neither have I personally knitted anything,’ she admits. But this lack of culinary ability has not stopped Trockel from recently redesigning a Düsseldorf restaurant called Lido Malkasten.

Located in a 1950s addition to the legendary Malkasten, which translates as ‘paintbox’ and has been home to the city’s artists’ association since the 1860s, Lido Malkasten features site-specific artworks and bistronomy-inspired cuisine by chef Florian Ohlmann, who has worked for Alain Ducasse in Paris. The centrepiece is a 400 sq m carpet, Trockel’s largest artwork to date, which she created in collaboration with manufacturer Desso. ‘The carpet was supposed to be yellow,’ says Trockel, ‘but there’s always the possibility of a bottle of red wine tipping over.’

Dusseldorf brasserie Lido, designed by artist Rosemarie Trockel

The carpet features Trockel’s signature stripes and geometric shapes

In the main dining room, the carpet is teamed with custom-made, colour-coded Thonet chairs and round tables, while a safari theme prevails on the mezzanine. On the wall of the open kitchen hang black and white prints – featuring stoves, pendants and a theatre curtain, created by Trockel for the space and referencing her earlier work. ‘The philosophy of the kitchen is a favourite subject,’ Trockel says. ‘It’s a place where communities and families gather – it’s the birthplace of our lives.’

On another wall, the artist has placed her own work alongside loans from friends such as Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer, whom she met in New York in the early 1980s. The display will change regularly, as Trockel plans to eat in the restaurant regularly. ‘I have always loved to eat,’ she says, ‘and I am lucky enough to have friends who are very skilled in the kitchen.’

As originally featured in the April 2018 issue of Wallpaper* (W*229)