Charlotte Posenenske

“The objects should have the objective character of industrial products. They are not intended to represent anything other than what they are.” Charlotte Posenenske, 1968

Charlotte Posenenske (1930–1985) is one of the key German artists of the 1960s, whose work heralded, along with artists such as Donald Judd, the development of minimalism. This exhibition has been made especially for the John Hansard Gallery and includes the steel constructions – resembling industrially manufactured ventilation ducts – for which she is perhaps best known, alongside Revolving Vanes, paintings, drawings and wall reliefs.

Charlotte Posenenske worked as a theatre stage designer before her artistic career began in the early 1950s. She increasingly turned to industrial materials, creating objects that could be repeated and reconfigured ad inifinitum, and sold her work only at its production value, resisting the conventions of the art market. Despite considerable critical success, the artist felt that she could take this trajectory no further and, in 1968, stopped making art altogether to work as a sociologist.

Since her death in 1985, recognition of Posenenske’s work has been brought to a wider public through major solo exhibitions, including Frankfurt Museum of Modern Art (1990), Taxispalais, Innsbruck (2005), Documenta II, Kassel (2007), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2010), Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich(2010) and Artists Space New York 2010).

Charlotte Posenenske is a John Hansard Gallery exhibition conceived in collaboration with the executor of the artist’s estate, Dr Burkhard Brunn. A fully illustrated catalogue will be published following the exhibition.

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