John M Armleder


John M Armleder

John M Armleder
Born 1948, Geneva, Switzerland

John Armleder is a performance artist, sculptor, and painter, whose multi-faceted activities are connected by drawing. Affiliated with Fluxus in the late 1960s and 70s, the value of ephemerality and the notion that art is the conduction of creative energy are central to his work. Armleder’s use of many different materials and found objects was demonstrated vividly in his 2006 mammoth solo exhibition at the MAMCO in Geneva, that incorporated a multitude of materials including televisions, scaffolding, mirrors, lights, CD players, animals, pot plants and Christmas trees, creating a riotous and magical world of disorientating beauty and mystery.

Armleder frequently examines the context in which art is displayed and views the exhibition as a medium in its own right. He creates dialogues between disparate objects by placing them within an exhibition context, raising the question of possible equivalences that are created between them when viewed in such a setting. He has questioned the notion of the authenticity of art with installations that united found objects (second-hand or new) with abstract paintings executed by Armleder himself, many of which ironically referred to previous modernist examples.
Armleder’s work Canvallaira Majalis, 2003 on show in the exhibition takes as its starting point the work of the American abstract expressionist and op artist Larry Poons but also of Morris Louis. Armleder’s painting brings that process up to by referencing the lesser known Poons or Louis’s technique of pouring paint down the front of the canvas but adding a sparkle to the outcome. Even, his furniture sculptures are read as paintings. They often include chairs and other objects in relation to a painting but here again, they are usually seen and read as frontal pieces, composed as a painting would be. In this exhibition Armleder’s painting is being isolated, stripped bare of all the surrounding ‘decoration’ in order to showcase this mediums inherent strength.