John Armleder - Photo of the artist - Image via Pier Marco Tacca

John Armleder

Switzerland 1948

Sculpture, Performance Art, Fluxus, Painting

John Armleder
John Armleder
December 20, 2016
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Known far and wide for his performance acts and sculptural pieces, John Armleder is a Swiss author that finds creativity and inspiration within what he calls a supermarket of forms. It is possible to connect this artist’s artworks with many different movements and artistic concepts, such as the Suprematism, Minimalism and the infamous Dada. Although it covers a wide range of mediums and techniques, in its core, John’s art explores decoration as the impending devolution of cultural and artistic expressions[1]. Surprisingly complex with his concepts and playful in style, Armleder is responsible for authoring some of the most interesting and unusual pieces that emerged from Europe in the last half a century.

Installation exhibitions must allow contact with works
John Armleder – La ora i te forerei 2001 – Image via

His Artistic Development Over the Years

John Armleder acquired his artistic education at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Geneva, as well at the Glamorgan Summer School. After graduating, the young artist established the Groupe Ecart with friends Patrick Lucchini and Claude Rychner. This organization played a big role in the European scene during the 1970s and 1980s as it was responsible for introducing a large number of notable artists to the Old Continent – namely Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol. In the meantime, Armleder never stopped developing his own creative vocabulary. He had a habit of constantly examining the context in which his work was displayed, so the very act of exhibition became a genuine medium for John, as well as the key feature of his work. Since the 1990s, this author has created installations, paintings, sculpted pieces and what he likes to call Furniture Sculptures[2] – pieces that juxtapose furniture with monochrome or abstract paintings. Besides dramatically varying in form, Armleder’s work also used chance as a method of producing the final form of the piece – a characteristic often associated with the music of John Cage.

The work of John Armleder is a combination of few styles and mediums, whilst his conceptual basis is also quite diverse and rooted in numerous artistic ideas

New York installation shows are often untitled, especially if they are at the Nahmad Wall gallery
John Armleder – Ciliata (FS), 1994, and Foraminifers (FS), 1994 – Image via nyogalleristnycom

How Strong Is the Influence of John Armleder?

As it was clued at earlier, Armleder was associated with many artistic groups over the course of his long career. He is considered to be a leading figure of the 1960/70s Fluxus as well as the key individual of the Neo-Geo group (short for Neo-Geometric Conceptualism). Additionally, it should also be noted that Armleder was, along with the aforementioned Patrick Lucchini and Claude Rychner, the founder of the Galerie Ecart which had the role of acting as a performance art space and independent publishing house. Considering all of these activities and combining them with the fact his varied work is extremely interesting, it comes as no surprise whatsoever that John is present on virtually all the lists that deal with the most prominent and key Swiss artists of the last and the current century.

John Armleder lives and works in Geneva, Switzerland.


  1. Bovier, L., John Armleder (Flammarian Contemporary Art), Flammarion; First Edition – First Printing edition, 2006
  2. Bovier, L., Ruf, B., Armleder, J., John Armleder: About Nothing , JRP|Ringier, 2005

Featured image: John Armleder – Photo of the artist – Image via Pier Marco Tacca
All images used for illustrative purposes only.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2017John M Armleder: FishGalerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman, Vienna Solo
2017All I Want For Christmas Is...Galerie de multiples, Paris Group
2017On the Subject of the Ready-MadeDaimler Art Collection, Stuttgart Group
2017On the Subject of the Ready-madeDaimler Contemporary, Berlin Group
2017Biennale De l'Image En Mouvement 2016Biennale de l'Image en Mouvement, Geneva Group
2017Museum RevisitedMigros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich Group
2017My Abstract Worldme Collectors Room Berlin, Berlin Group
2017Die Sprache der Dinge-Materialgeschichten aus der Sammlung21er Haus, Vienna Group
2016WedgesGalerie van Gelder, Amsterdam Group
2016MONOCHROMEThe Société, Brussels Group
2016Francis Baudevin & artist´ friendsMusée de Cambrai, Cambrai Group
2016Tous les tableaux sont à l’enversCircuit, Lausanne Group
2016 MirrorsGalerie DUVE Berlin, Berlin Group
2016CollectionneursKunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne Group
2016The PagadMassimo De Carlo Milan, Milan Group
2016Expanded FieldsNymphius Projekte Berlin, Berlin Group
2016Tous Les Tableaux Sont A LenversGalerie Barnoud, Quétigny Group
2016Allegro GiustoIstituto Svizzero di Roma, Rome Group
2015John Armleder: "Jericho” & works on paper (1969-1978)Galerie Susanna Kulli, Zurich Solo
2015John Armleder: Out!Galerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich Solo
2015John ArmlederMassimo De Carlo Milan, Milan Solo
2015John M. Armleder: It's that Time of the YearMehdi Chouakri, Berlin Solo
2015They Printed It!Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich Group
2015KunstlichtGalerie Lange + Pult, Zurich Group
2015curated by_Veit Loers Retro StoreGalerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman, Vienna Group
2015Es werde Licht...Kunstmuseum St.Gallen, St. Gallen Group
2015SilenceGalerie van Gelder, Amsterdam Group
20158th Triennial of contemporary printsMusée de Beaux-arts du Locle, Le Locle Group
2015Môtiers Art 2015Art Môtiers, Môtiers Group
2015Flower for PoulGalleri Bo Bjerggaard, Copenhagen Group
2015Printmaking by ECALMusée Jenisch, Vevey Group
2015Group ExhibiionDavid Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Group
2015AccrochageGalerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich Group
2015Biens publicsMusée Rath, Geneva Group
2015The Good, The Bad & The UglySarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney, NSW Group
2015Collection Colette & Michel PoitevinGalerie Lasécu, Lille Group
2015The Shell (Landscapes, Portraits & Shapes)Almine Rech Gallery, Paris Group
2015Rascal HouseHalf Gallery, New York City, NY Group
2014John M ArmlederMehdi Chouakri, Berlin Solo
2014John M ArmlederAlmine Rech GallerySolo
2014John M ArmlederGalerie Richard, Paris Solo
2014John ArmlederMusée national Fernand Léger, Biot Solo
2014Dahlhausen ViralKunstmuseum Ahlen, Ahlen Group
2014Color SensationRaum No, Bern Group
2014Chease PleaseChâteau d´Oiron, Oiron Group
2014Circuit IIArtericambi, Verona Group
2014Summer ShowGalerie Catherine Issert, Saint-Paul de Vence Group
2014QuizGALERIE POIREL, Nancy Group
2014PlatformAlmine Rech Gallery, Brussels Group
2014Concept StoreNest, The Hague Group
2014vom Palazzo aus…Kunsthalle Palazzo, Liestal Group
2014Endoscopia, Part 1 And 2Galerie Bernd Kugler, Innsbruck Group
2014 Resonance(s)Maison Particulière Art Center, Brussels Group
2014Spuren der ModerneKunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg Group
2014AccrochageGalerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich Group
201420-200Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney, NSW Group
2014Serial WorksGalleri Specta, Copenhagen Group
2013John Armleder: PantanGalerie Andrea CaratschSolo
2013John ArmlederNahmad Contemporary, New York City, NY Solo
2013John M ArmlederGalerie Andrea Caratsch, ZurichSolo
2013John M ArmlederDairy Art Centre, London Solo
2013Snow VariationMassimo De Carlo London, London Group
2013Relocation, Reallocation, StockholmMcCabe Fine Art, StockholmGroup
2013IslandDairy Art Centre, London Group
2013Essex StreetEssex Street, New York City, NY Group
2013Enter before you leaveGalleri Specta, Copenhagen Group
2013East Of EdenMetropolitan Art Society (MAS), Beirut Group
2013infini > infiniGalerie Le Minotaure, Paris Group
2013Rhythm in itAargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau Group
2013The System of ObjectsDeste Foundation -, Athens Group
2013For My Eyes OnlyMaribor Art Gallery, Maribor Group
2013Passive AggressiveGalleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan Group
2013Steven ParrinoGagosian Gallery, Paris Group
2013Linie 31Galerie Susanna Kulli, Zurich Group
2012John M Armleder: 24 Years AheadGalerie van Gelder, Amsterdam Solo
2012John ArmlederSI Swiss Institute, New York City, NY Solo
2012Fungus EmulsionMehdi Chouakri, Berlin Solo
2012AccrochageGalerie Lindner, Vienna Group
2012Rumba & baba au rhumGalerie Laurent Godin, Paris Group
2012Les référentsGalerie Edouard-Manet, Genevilliers Group
2012zweiundzwanzigGalerie Mark Müller, Zurich Group
2012Problem PlayLeo Koenig Inc., New York City, NY Group
2012ClusterGalerie 1m3, Lausanne Group
2012FlowerPowerGalerie ABTART, Stuttgart Group
2012Pour que les murs se souviennentGalerie Aline Vidal, Paris Group
2012Le Monde Comme Volonte Et Comme Papier PeintLe Consortium, Dijon Group
2012Living With ArtGalerie Reinhard Hauff, Stuttgart Group
2012Tell The ChildrenLa Salle de bains, LyonGroup
2012GoldBelvedere, Vienna Group
2012MonochromeSALTS, Birsfelden Group
2012Néon, Who’s afrmaid of red, yellow and blue ?La Maison Rouge, Paris Group
2012The Old, The New, The DifferentKunsthalle Bern, Bern Group
2012Happier Than The Morning SunGalerie Clemens Thimme, Karlsruhe Group
2012Recollectgalerie ColletPark, Paris Group
2011John M Armleder: I'm Late, I'm Late, I'm Running For A DateGalerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich Solo
2011John M Armleder: New worksNewlyn Art Gallery, Newlyn Solo
2011John Armleder: AwayPeggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice Solo
2011John Armleder: Aztlangalerie ColletPark, Paris Solo
2011exploring abstractionGalerie Tanit, Munich Group
2011Moderne: Selbstmord der Kunst?Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz Group
2011Painting is a Painting is a PaintingInitial Access Frank Cohen Collection, Wolverhampton Group
2011Painting…expandedEspacio 1414, Santurce Group
2011StirringsNieuw Dakota, Amsterdam Group
2011Oh!Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan Group
2011OH!Galerie Patrick Seguin, Paris Group
2011REBUSSimon Lee Gallery, London Group
2011sculptureGalerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman, Innsbruck Group
2011How not to become an artistsudsudvestur, Reykjanesbær Group
2011Môtiers 2011Art Môtiers, MôtiersGroup
2011Exposition D’OuvertureLe Consortium, Dijon Group
2011Form meets minimalGalerie Tanit, Munich Group
2011Parallel LinesGalerie Susanna Kulli, Zurich Group
2011Corso MultisalaCharlottenburg udstillingsbygning, Copenhagen Group
2011Space OddityCCA Andratx, Andratx Group
2011Space OddityNymphius Projekte Berlin, Berlin Group
2011ALREADY-MADE ?Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris Group
2011EchoesCentre culturel Suisse, Paris Group
2011Au Pied du MurMehdi Chouakri, Berlin Group
2011LITOS GRAFERAKunst Centret Silkeborg Bad, Silkeborg Group
2011Graphic XL and XSGalerie Mäder, Basel Group
2010John M Armleder leuchtet einKunstmuseum St.Gallen, St. Gallen Solo
2010Psycho Painting & Psycho SculptureCarlson Gallery, London Group
2010Yotta PaintingsGalleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan Group
2010Emerging ImagesInternational Print Center New York, New York City, NY Group
2010Absolute BeginningsMehdi Chouakri, Berlin Group
2010Simon Lee Gallery à ParisGalerie Kreo, Paris Group
2010Cokes IS EightiesNymphius Projekte Berlin, Berlin Group
2010ABSTRACT, ALMOST ABSTRACT IIIGalerie van Gelder, Amsterdam Group
2010Summer Interval '10Galerie Bugdahn und Kaimer, Dusseldorf Group
2010Painting, Process and ExpansionMuseum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna Group
2010Barbaric FreedomSimon Lee Gallery, London Group
2010BordercrossGalerie Catherine Issert, Saint-Paul de Vence Group
2010MULTICHROMEGalerie Vera Munro, Hamburg Group
2009John M ArmlederGalerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich Solo
2009John M Armleder: Sunny side up, over easy and soft boiledGalerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman, Innsbruck Solo
2008John ArmlederGalleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan Solo
2008John M Armleder: ELECTRIC CLARIDGE´SLe Spot, Le Havre Solo
2008John M Armleder: KurfürstendammMehdi Chouakri, Berlin Solo
2008John M Armleder: OverGalerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich Solo
2008John M Armleder: AgainGalerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich Solo
2008Scrambled and PoachedSimon Lee Gallery, London Solo
2008John M ArmlederLaboratorio Kunsthalle Lugano, Lugano Solo
2008John M Armleder: Paint HappensGalerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich Solo
2008John M ArmlederMehdi Chouakri, Berlin Solo
2007Carte blanche à John M. ARMLEDERGalerie Catherine Issert, Saint-Paul de Vence Solo
2007I´m Ok, You´re OkMongin Art Center, Seoul Solo
2007John Armleder: About Nothing. Works On Paper 1962-2007SLG South London Gallery, London Solo
2006John M ArmlederKunstverein Hannover, Hannover Solo
2006John M. ArmlederMehdi Chouakri, Berlin Solo
2006InondationsArt & Public, Geneva Solo
2006John M.ArmlederMusée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes, Rennes Solo
2005John ArmlederLe Spot, Le Havre Solo
2005John ArmlederGalleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan Solo
2005John Armleder: Everythingde Pury & Luxembourg, Zurich Solo
2004John M. ArmlederMehdi Chouakri, Berlin Solo
2004John ArmlederGalleria d´Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo, Bergamo Solo
2004[riverside Wall] John M Armleder: Enter At Your Own RiskMehdi Chouakri, Berlin Solo
2004John ArmlederKunstverein Ruhr e.V., Essen Solo
2003John M. ArmlederGaleria Javier López, Madrid Solo
2002John M. ArmlederMehdi Chouakri, Berlin Solo
2002John M Armleder "Recent works"Galleri Specta, Copenhagen Solo
2002John M. ArmlederGalerie Sollertis, Toulouse Solo
2002ohn M Armleder: Neue ArbeitenGalerie Susanna Kulli, Zurich Solo
2001John ARMLEDERGalerie Catherine Issert, Saint-Paul de Vence Solo
2001ohn M. Armleder: Enter at Your Own Risk IIKunstraum Innsbruck, Innsbruck Solo
2001John ArmlederMAGASIN-Centre National d’art Contemporain de Grenoble, Grenoble Solo
2000John M ArmlederGalerie van Gelder, Amsterdam Solo
1999John M. ArmlederGalerie Tanit, Munich Solo
1999John M. ArmlederGalerie Tanit, Munich Solo
1998John M. Armleder: Arbeiten auf Paier 1967-1995Galerie Susanna Kulli, Zurich Solo
1998John M. ArmlederMehdi Chouakri, Berlin Solo
1996John M ArmlederGalerie Susanna Kulli, Zurich Solo
1995John M. Armleder: Abbaye St AndréCentre d'art contemporain Meymac, Meymac Solo
1991John M ArmlederGalerie van Gelder, Amsterdam Solo
1990John M ArmlederGalerie Susanna Kulli, Zurich Solo
1989John ArmlederLe Consortium, Dijon Solo
1988John M ArmlederGalerie van Gelder, Amsterdam Solo
1988John ArmlederDaniel Newburg Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
1987John M. ArmlederKunstforum in der GrundkreditBank, Berlin Solo
1987John M. ArmlederKunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf Solo
1987John M. ArmlederKunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur Solo
1986John ArmlederLisson Gallery, London Solo
1986John M ArmlederGalerie Susanna Kulli, Zurich Solo
1983John M Armleder: Neue ArbeitenGalerie Susanna Kulli, Zurich Solo
1980John M Armleder: 891 und weitere StückeKunstmuseum Basel, Basel Solo