Artists: Liz Deschenes, Charlotte Posenke
Venue: Melas Papadopoulos, Athens
Date: September 29 – December 29, 2012
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Melas Papadopoulos, Athens
Deschenes and Posenenske, separated by time and geography, recast questions of form, production, distribution, ontology, consumption, seeing and displaying. In this constellation, reversals are operating as points of intersection: uniqueness vs unlimited reproduction, materiality vs technologically produced objects referencing consumer goods, fragility vs sturdiness. The conversation hits moments of smooth union in the exploration of the possibilities of abstraction, the creation of space both inside and outside the work, the continuous engagement with the specific medium (photography and sculpture respectively), while ever expanding beyond them.
Charlotte Posenenske, one of the few artists in Germany to work within Minimalism in the 1960s, produced sculptural pictures, mostly monochrome surfaces made of steel and aluminum, sprayed with weatherproof RAL standard colours. Her critique of commercialism and her re-interpretation of the role of the artist still resonate as radical. The industrially produced Reliefs are conceived as multi-panel arrangements that can be re-configured in endless combinations and positions: on the floor, on walls, high, low, indoors, preferably outdoors, in non-art contexts. Posenenske restricts the display of the parts only slightly by stipulating 3 conditions, adding effervescence to their playful modularity.
Liz Deschenes’ self-referential pictures are systematic and poetic explorations of the language and mechanics of photography. Instead of locking time in permanent forms, her camera-less images take this medium’s principal connection to the real, to its elemental components. Exposing black and white photo sensitive paper to the night sky, or color paper to intense daylight she produces semi-reflective fields, often with mirror-like properties. Liz Deschenes responds to Posenenske’s yellow, red and blue, convexely folded, concavely canted Reliefs with a series of silver corner pieces and grey graphite rectangular corners suspended from the gallery walls. The photograms bracket the works around them, mirroring them via Deschenes’ decision to reference the standardized dimensions of Posenenske’s aluminum works. The new matte photograms, produced for this exhibition at H 100 cm and W 50 cm correspond directly to the Reliefs– a double-take, not quite a mirror image, but close, another fold in her reflection on the art object becoming the actual embodiment of its “subject-matter”.
“But the loveliness of her artworks belies the astringency this description suggests”. (phrase from Brian Sholis introduction to an interview with Liz Deschenes, Art in America, March 2012)
Liz Deschenes lives and works in New York. Recent exhibitions include the 2012 Whitney Biennial, Parcours at the Art Institute of Chicago (2012) that she co-designed and co-curated with Florian Pumhösl. She has had solo exhibitions at Miguel Abreu Gallery, NY and Sutton Lane, Brussels, London, Paris while a one person show at the Secession in Vienna is forthcoming (December 2012). Her work is in many public collections including MoMA – The Museum of Modern Art, New York The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, The Art Institute of Chicago, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington D.C., Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, CCS Bard Hessel Museum, Annondale-onHudson, NY. She teaches at Bennington College, Bennigton, Vermont and is a Visiting Artist at Columbia University, New York.
Charlotte Posenenske’s disillusionment with the art world prompted her decision to stop making art in 1969 and devote herself to the study of sociology. As she wrote in her manifesto, published in Art International in 1968: ”It is difficult for me to come to terms with the fact that art can contribute nothing to solving urgent social problems”. Her work was rediscovered in the 00’s with a solo exhibition at the Galerie im Taxispalais Innsbruck (2005) curated by Astrid Wege, a presentation at Between Bridges, an exhibition space ran by Wolfgang Tillmans in London (2007) and the Mehdi Chouakri Gallery, Berlin (2007). Posenenske’s work was included in Documenta 12, Kassel (2005) and in the 30th Sao Paulo Biennial (2012). Her work is part of important collections, amongst others, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Tate Modern London, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
Astrid Wege is a curator and critic. Her articles, exhibitions and publications analyze art as a form of cultural criticism, whether in relation to feminism with her project “Oh boy, it’s a girl!” (1994), gender and science in “Sex – Facts and Fantasies” (2001-2002) or time and value in “Economies of Time” (2002-2003). Between 1995 and 1999 she was editor of Texte zur Kunst. Between 2003 and 2006 she was deputy director of Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, and, among others, curator of the first comprehensive retrospective of Charlotte Posenenske. Exhibitions and programmes since then include “Resonances” (2006/07), “Transforming Memory” (2007) and “Moirés” (2008). Since 2008 she has been artistic director of the European Kunsthalle, Cologne, including presentations with Dorit Margreiter, Michel Auder, Janice Kerbel, Julia Scher, Stephen Willats, Yane Calovski, KRIWET, Miriam Bäckström et.al. The solo exhibition by Melvin Moti, “THE COSMIC COMMUNITY”, realized in cooperation with glasmoog, Cologne, runs through October 2012.