John Armleder (b. 1948, Geneva) is a singular figure in postwar art and one of the most representative Swiss artists of his generation. His career spans five decades and synthesizes many of the competing aesthetic developments associated with that period. A productive friction––along with an abiding sense of humor and conceptual provocation––animates his earliest work with the Groupe Ecart in Switzerland, his many projects informed by his association with the Fluxus movement, and his interest in John Cage’s work in particular. Since that time, he has made important contributions to the development of painting, sculpture, installation, design, and performance. Accordingly, Armleder operates on many fronts at once, drawing from legacies of seemingly divergent movements like Dada and abstract expressionism, and approaching each exhibition as an uncompromising and often unpredictable work in and of itself.
Armleder has been the subject of numerous solo museum exhibitions throughout the world. Over the last dozen years alone these have included shows at the Aspen Art Museum, Colorado (2019); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2019); Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina (Museo Madre), Naples (2018); Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2014); Fernand Léger National Museum, Biot, France (2014); Dairy Art Centre, London (2013); Swiss Institute, New York (2012); Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice (2011); Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland (2010); Kunstverein Hannover, Germany (2006); Tate Liverpool, England (2006); and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2006). His work is part of the permanent collections of many museums, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA and Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany. He lives and works in Geneva.
John M. Armleder in conversation with Mai-Thu Perret