John M Armleder

Azurite, 2003

John M Armleder is one of the most important and influential Swiss artists of his generation. With his stylistic breadth and vocabulary, he has created an inimitable universe of diverse works that oscillate fluidly between the fields of art, design, concept, geometry, Pop and Trash. His re-investigation of what art is, what art can do, and what art is allowed to do remains as vital now as it has been throughout his career.

Armleder’s work has its origins in Fluxus, and particularly in that movement’s shared interest in chance and performance. Yet his work defies easy categorisation. Despite the influence of Fluxus attitudes and the artist’s passion for the musical compositions of John Cage, Armleder’s work has always resisted the manifesto, any form of theoretical attitudes or indeed, a social or political agenda.

The objects, installations, paintings, sculptures and performances he has created in recent years have always been eclectic in their nature and appearance. His paintings are often juxtaposed with furniture or design objects or hung on wallpaper of repeated motifs.

Through playful compositions the objects he presents are often completely divorced from any formal artistic concerns. He actively blurs the traditional notions of the support and the surface, of the subject and object and of high and low art, and challenges customary ways in which the viewer has come to perceive and experience modern and contemporary art and the nature of the places that have come to be used for its display.