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Charlotte Posenenske

Series B Relief

1967, fabricated 2019

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This group of four objects from Charlotte Posensenke’s Series B Reliefs consists of two concave and two convex metal sheets, each uniformly sprayed with 1960s industrial-standard red paint. The grouping belongs to a five-part series of objects that the artist executed between 1967 and 1968. Posenenske was one of the few German artists in the 1960s to adopt the reductionist approach of American Minimalism. What set her work apart from her US contemporaries was the open-ended nature of her work: she intended the units to be installed in numbers and configurations determined by the buyer. Additionally, the elements were produced industrially in an unlimited series and were offered for sale at production costs. With these strategies Posenenske intended to realize art’s democratic aspirations through a creative process that is shared with the consumer, the term she used for the purchasers of her art. During the radical uprisings and student protests of the late 1960s, however, the artist realized that her artwork would not improve sociopolitical circumstances. In 1968 she abandoned art-making to pursue a degree in sociology with a focus on industrial labor in order to work as an advisor in support of unions. [Permanent Collection Label, 2021]

  • Artist Charlotte Posenenske (German, 1930–1985)
  • Title Series B Relief
  • Date 1967, fabricated 2019
  • Medium Painted concave steel sheet
  • Dimensions unframed | 39 3/8 x 19 11/16 x 5 1/2 in.
  • Credit line University purchase, with funds from David W. Detjen and Barbara M. Detjen, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Yeatman Fund, and William McMillan Fund, 2020
  • Object number WU 2020.0002.0003

Received 1/24/2020; approved by ACC 4/23/2020
Galerie Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin

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