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exhibition: Charlotte Posenenske: Prototypes for Mass Production (1965-1967)
date: 6 November 2008 - 10 January 2009
Peter Freeman, Inc. is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in the United States of German artist Charlotte Posenenske (1930-1985). Thirteen works from the mid-1960s, most never previously exhibited, will be shown, accompanied by a selection of the artist's works on paper.
Charlotte Posenenske was among Germany's leading artists in the 1960s, creating minimalist sculptures based on the industrial principles of modular reduction, seriality, and standardization. In an effort to limit individuality in her work, she restricted both her choice of materials and her color palette, using only sheet steel, cardboard, or aluminum painted with weatherproof RAL standard paint in black, blue, red, and yellow. The works were intended to be produced in unlimited series, distributed at cost, and presented in public, rather than gallery, contexts. In this way, Posenenske's oeuvre is formally aligned with European Minimalism but fundamentally rooted in Conceptual Art as it engages issues of participation and institutional critique. As the artist wrote in 1968,
I make series because I do not want to make single pieces for individuals,
in order to have elements combinable within a system, in order to make
something which is repeatable, objective, and because it is economical.
The series could be prototypes for mass production.
The exhibition at Peter Freeman, Inc. will feature most of the few existing prototypes for these serially produced sculptures, the only works for which Posenenske herself oversaw the production. Charting her progression from two-dimensional works to sculptural objects, it will provide a coherent view of her brief career, which ended in 1968 when she left the art world, having reached the conclusion that art could not, in her opinion, have sufficient political impact.
Interest in Posenenske's work has recently re-emerged on an international scale. In 2007 she was one of the highlights of "documenta 12" in Kassel, and a touring retrospective was held at Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria, and the Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen, Germany, in 2005. Currently an installation of her "Vierkantrohre (Square Tubes)" is on view at the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. After the show at Peter Freeman, Inc. her work will be included in the exhibition In & Out of Amsterdam / 1960-1975 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in July 2009.
An illustrated catalogue with an essay by Renate Wiehager accompanies the exhibition.