Stemming from two acclaimed extensive exhibitions held in Italy at Naples’ Madre museum and Museion Bolzano, this publication offers a retrospective overview of the manifold work of Swiss artist John M Armleder (b. 1948, Geneva). One of the most important and admired artists of the last decades of the 20th century and of the 21st, Armleder has created multiple and fertile bodies of work spanning all artistic disciplines, from his distinctive Furniture Sculptures to his Fluxus performances within the Écart collective, from his diverse painting series to his drawing practice, from his striking installations and wall paintings to his numerous works created in collaboration with artist friends.
Documenting the two exhibitions extensively—the show in Naples a rare retrospective; that in Bolzano demonstrating the artist’s talent for installation and total environments—the publication immerses the reader in Armleder’s world thanks to the innovative graphic design of Geneva-based Gavillet & Cie. An extensive conversation with the artist by Madre Director Andrea Viliani and Museion Exhibition Curator Letizia Ragaglia, and an essay about Armleder’s painting and its historical relevance by curator and former Aspen Art Museum Director Heidi Zuckerman, as well as a complete bio-bibliography by art critic and historian Chiara Costa, complete the publication to offer a unique synthesis of Armleder’s practice—one enacted under the aegis of freedom and openness. As Zuckerman states in her essay, underlining the role model Armleder has been for generations of younger contemporary artists: “In a time when the attempt to categorize as a means to understand as well as self-locate is prevalent in both life and art, John M Armleder remains known for having no restrictions or fixed ways of working.”