John M Armleder - EXTRA CONTENT Elad Lassry

John Armleder

26.11.2009 | 03.02.2010
Celebrating the long-lasting relationship between Galleria Massimo De Carlo and John M Armleder, who have been working together for more than twenty years, Carlson is proud to present an exhibition of the Swiss artist in London. The works that were selected to the show originate from Armleder’s known interest for the imagery of Christmas. In fact, during the last ten years the artist has given a Christmas Party, held annually in Geneva, his hometown. For this famous event, he invites friends and famous characters from the international art scene to join him in his celebration of Nativity. At the same time, these works can be seen as a twisted version of his famous Furniture Sculptures, that he has been creating since the 1990’s. These works consist of installations that usually juxtapose furniture with monochrome or abstract paintings. In this case, the artist changed the pieces of furniture for the typical seasonal decorations, such as trees, crowns, balls and lights, on which he either applied drippings of acrylic paint and glitter, or he displayed in relation to a canvas that functions as a background. Walking around John Armleder’s room, full with Christmassy objects, the viewer is surprised to discover some seemingly hidden photographs of people or objects that have an appealing but also retro look. These are Elad Lassry’s contribute to the exhibition, the second part of Carlson’s EXTRA CONTENT program, in which we invite another artist to act like a virus, incorporating his own work inside another show, thus forcing a dialogue or a crack. There is a similar attitude between John Armleder and Elad Lassry’s creative process in the use of found materials and its subsequent elaboration. In fact, the Los Angeles-based Israeli artist either uses images he found on magazines or he makes photos that are similar to commercial photography from the 70’s and 80’s. Then he introduces delicate modifications that produce new approaches to the past formal appearance. In this case, the portrait of a girl, a series of bunnies and the an image similar to a kitch wallpaper continue with his post-picture approach and open a humorous dialogue with John M Armleder works. They become commodities, almost hidden Christmas gifts, showing the other side of the Christmas objects that surround them.

The Artist

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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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