The Series DW Vierkantrohre

00:04:06 301 M HKA
For Posenenske art existed not as something that was created for and by individuals, but as a social and participatory action for a diverse audience.

Charlotte Posenenske (1930 - 1985) was born in 1930 in Wiesbaden, Germany. Between 1951 and 1952 she studied at the Stuttgart Academy of Art under the famous painter Willi Baumeister. In 1959 she started her career as a freelance artist, which would last till 1968. In 1985 she passed away at the age of fifty-five in Frankfurt am Main.

Posenenske began her artistic career in the theatre as a set designer and costume maker. The feeling of community and cooperation within the theatre left a great impression on her; hundreds of individuals working together towards a common performance.

The objects are intended to have the objective character of industrial products. They are not intended to represent anything other than what they are.*

For Posenenske art existed not as something that was created for and by individuals, but as a social and participatory action for a diverse audience. To achieve this, art had to be manufactured on a large scale and be easy to assemble. As a result Posenenske is considered one of the first to create participatory art. During her artistic career she produced non-figurative panels, foldings, reliefs, steel and cardboard tubes, revolving vanes and mobile walls in a style similar to Minimal Art.

As a final step in her artistic evolution she gave up on art all together, which today may be perceived as an artificial act. It can also be considered the ultimate outcome of minimalist reduction. She went on to study sociology, which she felt had a greater impact than art, and worked as a sociologist in close partnership with the trade unions.

The Series DW Vierkantrohre is the art of Posenenske in its purest form. She constructed these minimalistic cardboard tubes between 1967 and 1968. The hollow sculptures consist of various modules, making them adaptable to the available space. Each installation can be changed and altered, and like consumer goods the tubes can be reproduced endlessly. Despite their light materials, the installations can reach monumental proportions, but their market price is always the same. Posenenske made no profit on the Vierkantrohre, she simply used the market as a method of distribution.

Posenenske was influenced by Russian Constructivism and the Dutch De Stijl; she elevated both styles to accessible, purely architectural art with a social and participatory side.

The exhibition was realized in cooperation with G262 Sofie Van de Velde, Dr. Burkhard Brunn (Estate Charlotte Posenenske) and Galerie Mehdi Chouakri.

Video credits

  • Thanks to: Dr Burkhard Brunn
  • Production: Ghislaine Peeters
  • Music: Chris Zabriskie, John Stockton Slow Drag (cc)
  • Camera & Editing: Mario De Munck
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