John M(ichael) Armleder
Don't Do It! (Readymades of the 20th Century) F.S. (Furnitures Sculptures), 1997/2000

In his installations, objects, paintings and sculptures, John M Armleder looks into the styles, dogmas and -isms of 20th century art by simultaneously paraphrasing, deconstructing and redefining them. Staged as an accumulation of materials Don’t Do It! combines the most famous readymades, from Duchamp’s Fountain (1917) to Warhol’s detergent boxes and Beuys’ felt rolls (c. 1960), and on to Tiravanija’s tea bag (1998)—yet presenting them all as market-fresh consumer goods. Don’t Do It! is a double farewell to the concept of the original in art: the readymade, intended to subvert the aura of the artistic original and the ideals and utopias associated with it, has risen over time to become an ‘icon’ itself. Armleder’s sculpture removes it from its pedestal a second time to bring into view what is essential and truly ‘original’ in artistic thought.

John M(ichael) Armleder

* 1948 Geneva, CH
Lives and works in Geneva, CH
John M Armleder
Untitled (FS 80), 1985
Enamel on pavatex, table with melamine Resopal coating

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