Square Tubes by Charlotte Posenenske UP093

Square Tubes [Series D] 1967 is a construction set comprised of six different hollow forms made from galvanised sheet steel. The elements resemble the industrial materials used to form ventilation pipes. These basic components can be combined to create any number of configurations, each unit having a standard opening with a protruding edge that allows them to be bolted together. The number of unit parts incorporated in each iteration of the work is not defined, meaning that they can be fashioned to fit a space, or continued indefinitely. The concept allows a curator or buyer to assemble and change the installation according to his or her own criteria, relinquishing some of the artist’s creative autonomy to others.

The six elements can be presented standing, lying, hanging or in series. The galvanised steel used in this and other works by Posenenske reflect the increased visibility of industrial materials and methods in architecture and artwork in this period. Yet the robust fabric also meant that arrangements could be displayed beyond the gallery setting. Posenenske photographed various configurations situated in train stations, airports, factories, and other industrial environments. She considered changes to the surface of the materials as welcome – the notations made by craftspeople, graffiti, fingerprints, or weathering were important, representing the passage of time and therefore gesture to the object’s existence in the world.