John Armleder

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
John M. Armleder
Geneva, Switzerland
Known forfurniture sculptures, painting, curatorial projects
MovementFluxus, Groupe Ecart

John Armleder (born 1948) is a Swiss performance artist, painter, sculptor, critic, and curator. His work is based on his involvement with Fluxus in the 1960s and 1970s, when he created performance art pieces, installations and collective art activities that were strongly influenced by John Cage. However, Armleder's position throughout his career has been to avoid associating his artistic practice with any type of manifesto.

Early life and education[edit]

Armleder was born in Geneva, as the son of a hotelier (owners of Le Richemond). He studied at the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Genève (1966–67),[1][2] and at the Barry Summer School[3] at Glamorgan College of Education in Barry, Wales (1969).[citation needed]


Furniture sculpture (2007) by John Armleder, at Villa Arson, Nice, France

In 1969, with Patrick Lucchini and Claude Rychner, Armleder founded the Groupe Ecart in Geneva, from which stemmed the Galerie Ecart and its associated performance group and publications.[1] The Groupe Ecart was particularly important in Europe during the 1970s and 1980s, not only through its activity as an independent publishing house, but also because it introduced in Switzerland—and sometimes in Europe—a large number of notable artists, including Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol.[4] Armleder was later associated with the Neo-Geo artistic movement in the 1980s.[5][6]

Armleder frequently examines the context in which art is displayed and views the exhibition as a medium in its own right. Since the 1990s, he has created installations, paintings, wall paintings, sculptures and what he calls Furniture Sculptures—installations that usually juxtapose furniture with monochrome or abstract paintings, either literally on the furniture or on a canvas hanging nearby.[7] His work has varied greatly in form, and has, since the beginning, used chance as a method of producing the final forms that pieces take, much like John Cage. He often uses a dense scenographic hanging style, putting individual works into close proximity and creating installation-like exhibitions.[8]


Untitled (chairs), 1984/2014, Domaine du Muy, France

In 1986, Armleder represented Switzerland in the Venice Biennale.[1] In 2004, a retrospective exhibition of his works on paper was shown at the Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland, and later traveled to the ICA in Philadelphia. In the winter of 2006–2007, a large exhibition including works from all eras of his career was shown at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Mamco) in Geneva, Switzerland. In April 2013, Armleder had a solo show at the Dairy Art Centre in London.[9][10]


Armleder's work is held in the permanent collections of numerous museums including the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne,[11] the Staedel Museum,[12] the Museum of Modern Art, New York,[13] among other institutions.


  1. ^ a b c Rea, Naomi (11 July 2019). "'I Always Agree With Whatever People Say About My Work': How Artist John Armleder's Brushes With Death Made Him More Laid-Back". Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Talking Heads avec John M Armleder". Geneva University of Art and Design (in French). 27 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Barry Summer School". Barry Town Council.
  4. ^ (in French) Bovier, Lionel; Cherix, Christophe; L’Irrésolution commune d’un engagement équivoque; Genève : Mamco : Cabinet des estampes, 1997; OCLC 40323917 (for further reading on Ecart and the early period of John Armleder's work)
  5. ^ (in French) Bovier, Lionel; John Armleder; Paris : Flammarion, 2005. OCLC 62363982
  6. ^ (in English) Bovier, Lionel; Radzinowicz, David; John Armleder; Paris : Flammarion; New York : Rizzoli International Publications, 2005. OCLC 67711312
  7. ^ Wallestone, Aimee (October 2012). "Fine Furniture: John Armleder at the Swiss Institute". Art in America. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  8. ^ "Art History Revisited: John M. Armleder Coming to the Schirn". Schirn Mag/Schirn Kunsthalle. 2 June 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  9. ^ "John Armleder 360°". Museo Madre, Napoli. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  10. ^ Glover, Michael (26 April 2013). "Art review: Quicksand John Armleder, The Dairy Art Centre, London". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  11. ^ "John M Armleder Furniture Sculpture 189, 1988". Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  12. ^ "JOHN M. ARMLEDER Untitled (Furniture Sculpture), 1986". Staedle Museum. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  13. ^ "John Armleder Swiss, born 1948". Retrieved 12 April 2021.

External links[edit]