Magazine article Artforum International

Charlotte Posenenske: Peter Freeman, Inc

Magazine article Artforum International

Charlotte Posenenske: Peter Freeman, Inc

Article excerpt

In the May 1968 issue of Art International, the thirty-eight-year-old German artist Charlotte Posenenske published a manifesto lamenting the "regressed" utility of art and, by implication, the larger network of the art world. Her statements convey her concern with the social role of artists, and presage her decision later that year to become, perhaps unsurprisingly, a sociologist. Yet unlike other artists from the late 1960s and early '70s who employed strategies of rejection or withdrawal--Lee Lozano comes first to mind--Posenenske was not concerned with blurring the boundaries between art and life. Rather, her final works, the Prototypes for Mass Production, 1965-67, composed of bent and bowed aluminum sheets spray-painted in RAL waterproof colors, were meant to be endlessly reproduced, the reproductions exhibited in noncommercial venues and distributed at cost. Twenty-three years after Posenenske passed away, and following the notable presence of her work at Documenta 12 in 2007, the occasion of her first solo US exhibition makes considerations of her practice all the more intriguing and difficult.

Fifteen Prototypes, the majority having their gallery debut, were installed in the main exhibition space, adjacent to a small room of Posenenske's early abstract paintings on paper and a solitary collage. The paintings reveal her increasingly formal concerns and share the Prototypes' basic colors--black, blue, red, white, and yellow. A few of her earliest works recall the gestural and violent marks in Joan Mitchell's canvases, while the scaled-down Streifenbilder (striped pictures) and Spritzbilder (sprayed pictures), dating from 1962 to 1965, foreshadow the Prototypes' hard-edge motifs and materials. Take the creased aluminum rectangles in the monochrome Faltung (Fold) group of Prototypes from 1965, which give way to the following year's convex, concave, tented, and zigzag Relief works; with their metallic curves and slopes, these serialized and standardized sculptures appear completely geometric and reductive, all surface and no depth. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.