Skip to navigation Skip to main content

Charlotte Posenenske

Charlotte Posenenske (b. 1930, Wiesbaden — d. 1985, Frankfurt-am-Main) developed a pioneering body of work during her brief artistic career, which she began in the mid-1950s and ended in 1968 when she gave up art to devote herself to Soziologie der Fabrikarbeit (sociology of work). Posenenske developed a form of mass-produced Minimalism that addressed the pressing socioeconomic concerns of the decade, circumventing the art market and rejecting established formal and cultural hierarchies. The artist’s radical approach included producing artworks in unlimited editions and pricing them according to the cost of production. Her subversive stance towards artworld conventions was also reflected in her notion of authorship, perceiving it as a collective process that extended to those involved in the manufacture process and the active participation of the audience or ‘consumers’, the artist’s term for those who engage with her work – who are invited to creatively assemble the parts into unique combinations of their choosing.

Mass production and variability are also at the heart of Posenenske’s subsequent series D and DW entitled Vierkantrohre (Square Tubes). The series D consists of six shapes in galvanised sheet steel, which resemble standard ventilation ducts. The elements are nonetheless custom- made according to the artist’s sketches. Series DW is a variant with only four shapes produced from lightweight, corrugated cardboard. A mass-produced, sheet material that is readily available, cardboard represents a departure from the aesthetics of the steel tubes, which are in effect almost indistinguishable from functional elements. The two series modules offer endless permutational possibilities and adaptability to different exhibition contexts. Such large arrangements require cooperation to produce, and suggest an alternative model to the hierarchies of traditional decision- making structures.


  1. Charlotte Posenenske, "Vierkantrohre Serie D", 1967/2019. Tôle d’acier galvanisée à chaud. Dimensions variables. Collection Mudam Luxembourg. Acquisition 2021. Vue de l’exposition "Charlotte Posenenske: Work in Progress", Mudam Luxembourg 10.10.2020 – 10.01.2021 © Photo : Rémi Villaggi | Mudam Luxembourg
    Charlotte Posenenske Vierkantrohre Serie D, 1967/2019

    Tôle d’acier galvanisée à chaud
    Dimensions variables
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2021
    Vue de l’exposition Charlotte Posenenske: Work in Progress, Mudam Luxembourg, 10.10.2020 – 10.01.2021
    © Photo : Rémi Villaggi | Mudam Luxembourg

The most important collection of contemporary art in Luxembourg Explore the Mudam Collection