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Exhibition brings together seminal drawings, paintings, sculpture and wall reliefs by Charlotte Posenenske
Reliefs Serie C (Reliefs Series C), 1967. Courtesy Daimler Art Collection, Stuttgart / Berlin Charlotte Posenenske: Work in Progress. Installation view Dia: Beacon, Beacon, New York. Estate of Charlotte Posenenske, Frankfurt am Main | © Photo (detail): Bill Jacobson Studio, New York. Courtesy Dia Art Foundation, New York.

LUXEMBOURG.- Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean presents Charlotte Posenenske: Work in Progress. The exhibition traces the evolution of the pioneering work of Charlotte Posenenske (b. 1930, Wiesbaden; d. 1985, Frankfurt am Main) during the years 1956–68, a short but prolific period when she was active as an artist. Presented in the Grand Hall, and across the two upper floor galleries, the exhibition brings together seminal drawings, paintings, sculpture and wall reliefs, including the artist’s final and most iconic modular works.

The exhibition highlights Posenenske’s critical contribution to the development of serial, site-specific and participatory practices. Embracing reductive geometry, seriality and industrial fabrication, Posenenske developed a form of mass-produced minimalism that pointedly addressed the pressing socioeconomic concerns of the decade by circumventing the art market and rejecting established formal and cultural hierarchies.

The artist’s radical approach included not placing a limit on editioned artworks and pricing them according to their production cost. Posenenske’s subversive stance towards artworld conventions was also reflected in a decentralised notion of authorship, perceiving it as a collective endeavour that extended to the manufacturing process and the active participation of the audience or ‘consumers’, who were invited to assemble or manipulate the work.

A commitment to exploring the conditions of the social environment ultimately led her to relinquish her profession as an artist, announcing the decision in the tumultuous month of May 1968. Repositioning the concerns of her object-based practice, she retrained as a sociologist, focusing her work on industrial labour.

Charlotte Posenenske (b.1930, Wiesbaden; d. 1985, Frankfurt am Main) has held solo exhibitions at Konrad Fischer Galerie, Düsseldorf (1967); Galerie Art & Project, Amsterdam (1968). Her work has also been presented within the significant group survey Serielle Formationen, at the University of Frankfurt am Main (1967); ABC Art, Cool Art, Minimum Art, Minimal Art, Primary Structure, Neue Monumente, IMI Art, Galerie René Block, Berlin (1968). She stopped making art altogether in 1968. Since her death in 1985, Charlotte Posenenske’s work has gained renewed attention through solo exhibitions at the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main (1990); Artists Space, New York (2010); MAMCO, Geneva (2017); Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo (2019) and Documenta 12, Kassel (2007).

In her brief but prolific artistic career, Charlotte Posenenske devised a singularly democratic approach to Minimal and Conceptual art. Rethinking the means and aims of artistic production and consumption, she produced modular sculptures that are industrially fabricated and arranged by consumers, rather than the artist. This extensively illustrated volume traces the evolution of her practice from early unique works on paper to her series of mass-produced sculptures. In doing so, the book assesses the impact of modernist ideas of utopia on her work, situates it within theories of play and performance, and examines it through the lens of her later vocation as a sociologist in postwar Germany. In addition to an extensive chronology that details the full scope of her life and work, the book includes selected writings by the artist herself.

Editors: Jessica Morgan, Alexis Lowry
Authors: Matilde Guidelli Guidi, Liz Hirsch, Alexis Lowry, Isabelle Malz, Rita McBride, Jessica Morgan, Daniel Spaulding, Catherine Wood

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