20 A1555


John Armleder

18.02.2015 | 28.03.2015
Massimo De Carlo, Milano

Massimo De Carlo is proud to present Charivari, a solo show by the Swiss artist John Armleder, that brings a new body of works and site specific installations in the gallery’s spaces of Via Ventura.

John Armleder’s universe stems into the irony and freedom that characterized the Fluxus movement. Through his stylistic and lexical breadth the artist creates a whimsical and glittering universe studded by multiform works that play with the boundaries between art and design, figuration and abstraction. The artist’s practice, which is a combination of smart and cultured irony paired with a fascination for the world of glamour and entertainment, eludes any possible definition. The Swiss artists’ practice is continuously changing: as for real life, everything flows naturally from one shape to the other.

With Charivari John Armleder presents a new series of eclectic and mysterious works, firstly by their nature, and secondly by the process through which they were made: these works synthesize the artists long exhibiting career. In the first room of the gallery John Armleder pays homage to the exhibition Horizon Home Sweet Home by James Rosenquist that took place at Leo Castelli’s gallery in 1970. Just as it happened then, the viewer is projected into a futuristic environment. Rhythmic installations composed by LED lights,

the melody of Blue Danube Waltz in the piano version by Josef Lhevinne, fills the room whilst playing at different speeds together with smoke machines: all these elements play a key part in creating a mysterious and surreal landscape that feels almost suspended. Black and gold canvases, of different shapes and sizes, emerge from this whimsical scenery, seeming to imitate an imaginary idea of perspective or a small detail of an unknown geometric reality. The exhibition is like a series of short stories that allude to the artist’s relationship with the city of Milan: inspiring shapes and titles of the works in the show always remain mysterious and indecipherable.

In the second room of the gallery there is a new group of Furniture Sculptures – installations juxtaposed to furniture, design objects, musical instruments and abstract paintings - transform the gallery into an extravagant domestic universe. Here we find bizarre compositions where each of us can project imaginary lives suspended between the order of reality and the chaos of dreams.

The second floor of the gallery is an explosion of colors: the walls and floors of the room are traced with moonscapes, primordial soups and imaginary biologies. John Armleder’s new Puddle Paintings, take shape as the artists pours paint on the canvases from above, are generated by Armleder’s collaboration with chance: glitter, unusual objects, small rubber animals and various decorations become trapped in the dense threads of paint transforming, with a touch of kitsch, the flat surfaces of the canvases explode with live material.

John Armleder

John Armleder was born in Geneva in 1948, where he lives and works.

His career spans five decades and synthesises many of the competing aesthetic developments associated with that period. Student of Fluxus in Geneva in the 1960s, and founder of the Ecart group, Armleder was later, in the 1980s, associated with Neo-Geometric Conceptualism. He is known for the variety of his work, which combines Fluxus spirit and abstract painting, readymade and sculpture, performance and room-size installations. As a painter, sculptor and performance artist, Armleder constantly asks questions about what art is, what it can do, and what art is allowed. From room-size installations to abstract paintings, from geometrical constructivist paintings to furniture sculptures and pattern-strewn wallpapers, his art admittedly takes on attributes of Suprematist painting, Minimalist sculpture, Concrete Art and Dada readymades, among other movements.

His work is in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Long Museum, Shanghai, China; Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland; Museion Foundation - Modern and Contemporary Art Museum, Bolzano, Italy; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden.

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