John M Armleder
Untitled (FS 80), 1985

In the Furniture Sculptures, John M Armleder fuses abstraction with readymade, two of the key innovations made by 20th century art. Formally, FS 80 refers to the pioneering sculptural ensembles by early American Minimalists. However, the ordinary furniture undermines their idealistic impetus. The point grid of the Pavatex panel adopts a basic theme of abstract painting, which is both trivialized and ironized when we recognize the material as a commercially available insulating material for soundproofing. Armleder’s work plays with the accumulated ‘meaningfulness’ of art history, which, the longer we look at it, turns into the impression of pathetic decorative ‘emptiness.’ The polarization between spirit and matter, between ideal and garbage—Armleder knows that—no longer applies. That is gain and loss at the same time: loss of orientation, gain in freedom of choice.

John M Armleder

* 1948 Geneva, CH
Lives and works in Geneva, CH

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