Simon Lee

John M Armleder

25 Jun - 29 Aug 2008

© Installation View
"Scrambled and Poached"

John M Armleder has played a vital role in shaping postmodern European and international art practice overthe last 40 years. As a co-founder of the influential Groupe Ecart in the early 1960s he helped open up newways of producing, exhibiting and, most importantly, experiencing contemporary art to a broad public.
Armleder’s work defies easy categorisation. Despite the influence of Fluxus attitudes and the artist’s passionfor the musical compositions of John Cage, Armleder’s work has always resisted the manifesto, any form oftheoretical attitudes or indeed, a social or political agenda.
The objects, installations, paintings, sculptures and performances created by Armleder in recent years havealways been eclectic in their nature and appearance. Through playful compositions the presented objects areoften completely divorced from any formal artistic concerns. The artist actively blurs the traditional notions ofthe support and the surface, of the subject and object and of high and low art. As such, he challengescustomary ways in which the viewer has come to perceive and experience modern and contemporary art andthe nature of the places that have come to be used for its display. Armleder’s works are essentially pictorialin their compositions as they transcend the differences between decorative design and artwork. As a result,his work has always offered stirring modes of presentation whilst, at the same time, opening up the picturepane to include all its surrounding space.
“Scrambled and Poached” is symbolic of the multitude of possibilities open to the artist. In John Armleder’slong awaited solo show at Simon Lee Gallery, sparkling Drip and Pour paintings are placed alongsideregularly patterned canvases and the artist’s signature furniture sculptures. The works are superimposedover wall paintings that stretch from the floor to the ceiling of the gallery and the exhibition space is againtransformed in its entirety. Armleder creates an ensemble of different works from his repertoire andarranges them in the space to form a complete installation, thus demonstrating the activities that lie at theheart of his artistic practices and forming juxtapositions of familiar shapes and colours, in which the artist’scanvas and medium successfully shrug off their accepted implications.
Born in Switzerland in 1948, Armleder now lives and works between New York and Geneva, where hecontinues to develop ideas and strategies for his work. He has had numerous one-person exhibitions in theUSA and Europe, most recently at MAMCO in Geneva, The South London Gallery in London, the ICA inPennsylvania and the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis. He has also been part of hundreds of groupshows around the world and features in significant international collections, such as that of the Musée d ́ArtModerne de la Ville de Paris, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Kunstmuseum,Basel; Kunstmuseum, Zurich; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Sammlung Ludwig, Vienna and Staatsgalerie,Stuttgart.

Tags: John M. Armleder, John Cage