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Charlotte Posenenske, Relief (Series B) (1967)

For Artwork in Focus we explore individual artworks, critiquing their style and discussing their socio-political context. Today we look at Relief (Series B) (1967) by Charlotte Posenenske.

About the Work

Titles : Relief (Series B)
Artist : Charlotte Posenenske
Year : 1967
Medium : Red/ Yellow spray paint on sheet aluminum
Dimensions : 100 x 50 x 15 cm (39 3/8 x 19 11/16 x 5 7/8 in.) approx.
Location : Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Charlotte Posenenske employs a Minimalist aesthetic for the 3 works presented here, that are part of a series – Series B.

According to the Harvard Art Museums :

“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.”

This series was conceived in an era when artists refused to view their creativity as a means to social change, or anything other than simply a means to create. Minimalism simply represented art in its most basic form – that of shapes.

In the era of mass production and consumerism, the artist employed easily available materials. Wood and metals were commonly used. Themes of harmony and repetition were prominent in works of this time.

Other Details

Relief (Series B) is housed in the Harvard Art Museums in Room 4000. It is part of the museum’s collection of Art Study Center Reception.


To learn more about iconic artworks and their socio-political context, visit Artwork in Focus.

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