Today @ AK

John M. Armleder

Swiss, born 1948

© 1980 John M. Armleder

Untitled, 1980/1998

Triptych: acrylic and pencil on canvas; acrylic on wall
Each canvas: 39 3/8 x 39 3/8 inches (100 x 100 cm); overall dimensions variable
Gift of Mrs. Georgia M. G. Forman, by exchange and Gift of Mrs. George A. Forman, by exchange, 2012

John M. Armleder operates in the postmodern arena of hybridized genres, fluidly passing between media and practices. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Armleder’s art evolved under the Ecart Group, a Swiss Fluxus outpost founded in 1969. By the 1980s, he had begun working independently; his solo exhibitions combined drawings, murals, and strange assemblages of painting and furniture often referred to as “Neo-Geo,” a second generation of 1960s geometric abstraction. Kinetic art, Op art, Minimalism, and abstraction are all referenced in his works, as are the Readymades of Marcel Duchamp (French, 1887–1968), whose influence is especially present in Armleder’s ongoing series “Furniture Sculpture,” a group of works that has included plants, fluorescent light bulbs, tires, guitars, beaded necklaces, skateboards, children’s clothes, and many other nontraditional found objects.

Untitled, 1980/1998, is a large-scale installation consisting of a geometric wall painting featuring circular target shapes in red and blue, with three canvases featuring the same shape fixed to the wall. Perhaps riffing on the Target paintings of Jasper Johns (American, born 1930), Armleder’s installation offers a clever Conceptual take on abstraction extending into the world of the viewer.