Artists Space

Charlotte Posenenske

June 23 – August 15, 2010

Artists Space presents Charlotte Posenenske's first institutional one person exhibition in the US.

An image of a geometric metal sculpture against a blank, white background. The structure is composed of four identical components each with two triangular spikes extending upwards or downwards. Each of the components is hollow, and the interior of the sculpture can be glimpsed from its side.
Charlotte Posenenske. Series D Vierkantrohre (Square Tubes), 1967. [An image of a geometric metal sculpture against a blank, white background. The structure is composed of four identical components each with two triangular spikes extending upwards or downwards. Each of the components is hollow, and the interior of the sculpture can be glimpsed from its side.]

The things I make are
variable
as simple as possible
reproducible.
They are components of a space, since they are like building elements,
they can always be rearranged into new combinations or positions,
thus, they alter the space.
I leave this alteration to the consumer who thereby again and anew
participates in the creation.
The simplicity of basic geometric forms is beautiful and suited
to the demonstration of the principles of rationalized modifications.
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 can be prototypes for mass production.
Series DW (at Fischer’s) is made of corrugated cardboard that
is light and cheap: a material for consumption.
Often the elements of their combinations are very large in order to
alter the spatial environment more thoroughly. They approximate
architectural dimensions and for this reason also differ increasingly
from the former gallery objects.
They are decreasingly recognizable as “artworks.”
The objects should have the objective character of industrial products.
The former categorization of the arts no longer exists. The artist of the
future would have to work with a team of specialists in a development laboratory.
Though art’s formal development has progressed at an increasing tempo,
its social function has regressed.
Art is a commodity of transient contemporary significance, yet, the market is minute,
and prestige and prices rise the less topical the supply is.
It is difficult for me to come to terms with the fact that art can contribute nothing to
solving urgent social problems.

Offenbach, February 11, 1968

Charlotte Posenenske, "Statement" [Manifesto], Art International no. 5 (May 1968)

As part of Posenenske's first institutional one person exhibition in the US, every second weekend a different New York based artist was invited to change the structure of Charlotte Posenenske's Square Tubes Series D, 1967. A small reception marking each new installation by the invited artists will be held at the gallery from 6-8pm on the following dates:

July 6: Ei Arakawa
July 20: Rirkrit Tiravanija
August 3: Staff of Artists Space

Charlotte Posenenske (1930-1985) was a German minimalist prior to leaving contemporary art behind in 1968 in order to devote her efforts to the study of sociology. Her work was shown in solo exhibitions at Konrad Fischer Galerie, Düsseldorf (1967), Galerie Dorothea Loehr, Frankfurt am Main (1961, 1966, and 1968), and Galerie Paul Maenz, Cologne (1986). Her work was recently featured in documenta 12, Kassel (2007) and In & Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art, 1960-1976, at MoMA (2009). Posthumous solo shows include Galerie ak, Frankfurt am Main (1999/2000), Wolfgang Tillmans' exhibition space Between Bridges, London (2007), Galerie Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin (2007 and 2008), and Peter Freeman Inc., New York (2008). Her monograph was published by Hatje Cantz in the Fall of 2009.

Four geometric, silver metal sculptures are installed on the floors of a light-filled gallery space. The sculptures are modular, hollow, and consist of cube-like and triangular metal components.
Charlotte Posenenske. Installation view, Artists Space, 2010. Photo: Daniel Pérez. [Four geometric, silver metal sculptures are installed on the floors of a light-filled gallery space. The sculptures are modular, hollow, and consist of cube-like and triangular metal components.]
A geometric, silver metal sculpture sits on a wooden gallery floor. The sculpture is modular, hollow, and consists of cube-like and triangular metal components arranged in a long form that snakes across the ground. A large sheet of brown paper rests on the floor before the sculpture, crumpling against the sculpture
Charlotte Posenenske. Configured by Ei Arakawa. Installation view, Artists Space, 2010. Photo: Daniel Pérez. [A geometric, silver metal sculpture sits on a wooden gallery floor. The sculpture is modular, hollow, and consists of cube-like and triangular metal components arranged in a long form that snakes across the ground. A large sheet of brown paper rests on the floor before the sculpture, crumpling against the sculpture's lower edge.]
Six geometric, silver metal sculptures installed on low dolleys with wheels sit, scattered, across a wooden gallery floor. The sculptures are modular, hollow, and consist of cube-like and triangular metal components. Long arrows of colorful tape are installed on the gallery floors.
Charlotte Posenenske. Configured by Rirkrit Tiravanija. Installation view, Artists Space, 2010. Photo: Daniel Pérez. [Six geometric, silver metal sculptures installed on low dolleys with wheels sit, scattered, across a wooden gallery floor. The sculptures are modular, hollow, and consist of cube-like and triangular metal components. Long arrows of colorful tape are installed on the gallery floors.]
A geometric, silver metal sculpture sits on a roll of brown paper spread across a wooden gallery floor. The sculpture is modular and consists of triangular metal components. Gray text, in German, is subtly printed across the paper. Two long rips appear in the paper
Charlotte Posenenske. Configured by Ei Arakawa. Installation view, Artists Space, 2010. Photo: Daniel Pérez. [A geometric, silver metal sculpture sits on a roll of brown paper spread across a wooden gallery floor. The sculpture is modular and consists of triangular metal components. Gray text, in German, is subtly printed across the paper. Two long rips appear in the paper's surface, as if created by the sculpture dragging across the paper's surface.]
Several geometric, silver metal sculptures sit on a wooden gallery floor in a light-filled exhibition space. The sculptures are modular, hollow, and consist of cube-like and triangular metal components. At the photo
Charlotte Posenenske. Configured by Ei Arakawa. Installation view, Artists Space, 2010. Photo: Daniel Pérez. [Several geometric, silver metal sculptures sit on a wooden gallery floor in a light-filled exhibition space. The sculptures are modular, hollow, and consist of cube-like and triangular metal components. At the photo's center, a long roll of crinkled brown paper enfurls across the floor of the gallery, resting in between the sculptures.]
Three geometric, silver metal sculptures sit on low dolleys with wheels on a wooden gallery floor. The sculptures are modular, hollow, and consist of cube-like and triangular metal components. Long arrows of colorful tape are installed on the gallery floors.
Charlotte Posenenske. Configured by Rirkrit Tiravanija. Installation view, Artists Space, 2010. Photo: Daniel Pérez. [Three geometric, silver metal sculptures sit on low dolleys with wheels on a wooden gallery floor. The sculptures are modular, hollow, and consist of cube-like and triangular metal components. Long arrows of colorful tape are installed on the gallery floors.]
A geometric, silver metal sculpture sits on a wooden gallery floor in a brightly-lit gallery space. The sculpture is modular and consists of rectangular and triangular metal components arranged in a tall, ring-shaped structure.
Charlotte Posenenske. Configured by the staff of Artists Space. Installation view, Artists Space, 2010. Photo: Daniel Pérez. [A geometric, silver metal sculpture sits on a wooden gallery floor in a brightly-lit gallery space. The sculpture is modular and consists of rectangular and triangular metal components arranged in a tall, ring-shaped structure.]
A geometric, silver metal sculpture sits on a wooden gallery floor in front of a large, light-filled window. The sculpture is modular, hollow, and consists of rectangular and triangular metal components. Two vent-like openings in the sculpture face the viewer, while the opposite side of the sculpture bends towards the gallery window.
Charlotte Posenenske. Configured by the staff of Artists Space. Installation view, Artists Space, 2010. Photo: Daniel Pérez. [A geometric, silver metal sculpture sits on a wooden gallery floor in front of a large, light-filled window. The sculpture is modular, hollow, and consists of rectangular and triangular metal components. Two vent-like openings in the sculpture face the viewer, while the opposite side of the sculpture bends towards the gallery window.]
A geometric, silver metal sculpture sits on a wooden gallery floor. The sculpture is modular and hollow and consists of rectangular and triangular metal components arranged in a long form that snakes across the ground before arching up and down, forming a large U-shaped archway.
Charlotte Posenenske. Configured by the staff of Artists Space. Installation view, Artists Space, 2010. Photo: Daniel Pérez. [A geometric, silver metal sculpture sits on a wooden gallery floor. The sculpture is modular and hollow and consists of rectangular and triangular metal components arranged in a long form that snakes across the ground before arching up and down, forming a large U-shaped archway.]

Special thanks to Dr. Burkhard Brunn, the Estate of Charlotte Posenenske, Galerie Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin, Peter Freeman, Inc., New York, Paul Maenz and Estate Peter Roehr, Berlin.