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Gallery Text

In the 1960s, a rich transatlantic dialogue informed the development of minimalist sculpture. Adapting the principles of seriality and repetition explored by American artists such as Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt, Posenenske responded to Germany’s postwar “economic miracle” and to the democratizing social movements of the 1960s. She made prototypes of sculptures to serve as the basis for authorized productions, to be industrially made at low cost at a later date. Posenenske envisioned her sculptures as modular objects that could be installed in multiple configurations. Series B consists of sheet aluminum folded and arched in convex and concave forms sprayed with standardized industrial colors. In 1968, with her reputation rising, Posenenske became disillusioned by the inevitability of commodification and stopped making art. “Art could not contribute to the solution of urgent social problems,” she declared. Instead, she pursued sociology and later became a union organizer.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Charlotte Posenenske, German (Wiesbaden, Germany 1930 - 1985 Frankfurt am Main, Germany)
Relief (Series B)
Work Type
Persistent Link


Level 1, Room 1100, Modern and Contemporary Art, The Sixties Experiment/Multiple Strategies
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Physical Descriptions

Red spray paint on sheet aluminum
100 x 50 x 15 cm (39 3/8 x 19 11/16 x 5 7/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: center verso, etched: "CP67"


Recorded Ownership History
Charlotte Posenenske, Germany, created, 1967; passed to estate on the occasion of her death, 1985.
Peter Freeman Gallery, New York, NY, dealer, 2008.
Busch-Reisinger Museum, purchased from estate of the artist through Peter Freeman Gallery, New York, 2009.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Purchase in memory of Eda K. Loeb
© Courtesy of the Estate of Charlotte Posenenske, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and Peter Freeman, Inc., New York / Paris © Estate of Charlotte Posenenske/Burkhard Brunn, Frankfurt
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art

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Publication History

  • Charlotte Posenenske: Prototypes for Mass Production, auct. cat., Peter Freeman, Inc. (New York, NY, 2008), p. 52
  • Charlotte Posenenske: Work in Progress, exh. cat., Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen and Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König (Cologne, 2020), fig. 85

Exhibition History

  • 32Q: 1100 60’s Experiment, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 04/10/2018; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 10/04/2021 - 01/01/2050
  • 32Q: 4000 Study Center Reception, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 02/12/2019
  • Charlotte Posenenske: A Retrospective, Dia:Beacon, Beacon, 03/09/2019 - 09/09/2019; Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, 10/18/2019 - 03/08/2020; Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, 04/04/2020 - 08/02/2020

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Verification Level

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at