John Armleder

(b. 1948)

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(1948– )

Swiss artist, born in Geneva. He studied at the École des Beaux‒ Arts in Geneva. In the 1960s and 1970s he was involved in the Fluxus movement and his work retains an air of irreverence. It is also very difficult to classify, although his sculptures of the early 1980s, bits of discarded furniture painted with Suprematist forms, can be related to the Neo-Geo movement. These were arranged as a tableau and unsold pieces were simply returned to the streets. The problems of pinning his work down were emphasized in two exhibitions he held in 2006–7. One, at Tate Liverpool, was an installation involving scaffolding, mirrors, television sets and, as was appropriate to the time of year it was held, Christmas trees. The other was an exhibition of drawings at the South London Art Gallery entitled ‘About Nothing’. This was hardly a straightforward presentation. Hundreds of drawings from 1962 onwards were displayed from floor to ceiling in the kind of wide open space more normally associated with large sculpture or installations. (The usual procedure for the display of such work would be to break the space with panels.) The drawings were generally abstract, making reference to Constructivism and Minimalism.

Further Reading

C. Darwent, ‘Can he be Serious?’, The Independent on Sunday (11 February 2007)

Subjects: Art.

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