Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
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
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"
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

Exhibition History

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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