Swiss conceptual artist John Armleder to "take-over" The Rose Art MuseumReleased on February 12, 2007
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The Rose Art Museum will present artist’s first major museum survey in the United States this spring.
“John Armleder: Too Much is not Enough”
April 26-July 29
Spring show opening reception: April 25, 6-8 p.m.
WALTHAM, Mass. – This spring, Swiss artist John Armleder will take over the entire Rose Art Museum with a visual explosion of sprawling installations.
Starting on April 26, the Rose will feature an extensive exhibition of Armleder‘s multi-layered work that covers the fields of art, design and pop culture. The exhibition will take over all 10,000 square feet of exhibition space in the museum, and will include large and vibrant multi-media installations made from scaffolding, wall-paintings, disco light ball installations, pour and puddle paintings, mesmerizing fluorescent light installations, Furniture Sculptures, scatter pieces and much more.
“Armleder’s exhibition is the first comprehensive presentation of his work in the United States and will bring together different bodies of his eclectic production,” said Raphaela Platow, The Rose chief curator and organizer of the exhibition. Platow adds that the museum will display several of Armleder’s works created from the mid 1980s to the present time.
Armleder (born 1954), is one of the most important and influential Swiss artists of the present day. With his stylistic breadth and vocabulary, he’s created an inimitable universe of diverse and impressive works that oscillate fluidly between the fields of art, design, concept, geometry, Pop and Trash. Well-known for his many international exhibitions at such venues as the Venice Biennale in 1986 and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Armleder, who has been a professor at the HBK Braunschweig since 1994, constantly reinvestigates what art is, what art can do and what art is allowed to do.
Site-specific installations, appropriated ready-mades, paint splashes, and geometric constructivist paintings describe Armleder's allusions to diverse movements of modern art. He consistently refers to their central ideas and argues strictly in favor of the principle of using images and objects within and outside of the artistic context as freely available material. Armleder will show a complex group of works at The Rose Art Museum in which he cross-references pieces from the most diverse phases of his career in rooms that, for the first time, will be entirely covered by his wall paintings. Many installations will be specifically created or re-staged for The Rose.
Several examples of the emblematic Furniture Sculptures (such as “Untitled (FS),” 1986 from the collection of the Museum of Modern Art) will be on view and will combine industrially manufactured, used pieces of furniture with abstract paintings. In the tradition of Duchamp, Armleder shifts everyday items into an artistic context, a process in which he questions the concept of art as well as the concept of an individual artistic authorship. He will also assemble his seminal installation “Ne Dites pas Non!” together with Platow (1996/2000). In this installation, specialty furniture and works from The Rose’s renowned collection of modern and contemporary art will be based on a topographical scheme for the placement of the artworks invented by the artist.
New pieces such as scaffolding towers covered and surrounded with real and fake flowers, fluorecent light installations, mirror pieces, Korean light trees, silver Christmas tree parts and reflecting discoballs play a central role in the exhibition. In addition, a selection of Armleder's recent Pour and Puddle Paintings will be in the show. These works are based on the artist's pour paintings from the 1980s that are characterized by a free gestural style in which various paints and lacquers are experimentally poured onto the canvas. These process-oriented paintings differ greatly from Armleder's strict geometrical abstractions and paintings of decorative elements on monochromatic background, which he also produced during the 80s. A selection of the artist's prolific designs for wall paintings will extend throughout the museum, and serve as the backdrop of the entire exhibition. Through this intervention, Armleder creates a highly dense display where it is almost impossible to differentiate between one work and another. Furthermore, the wall paintings challenge the boundaries between free and applied arts, design, decorations and site-specific installations.
The two looming scaffolding towers, dynamically situated in The Rose’s large Lois Foster Wing, will display video monitors playing B-movies and Armleder’s own films, real and artificial flowers, shiny trinkets, fluorescent lights, ghetto blasters that create an ambient sound carpet, stuffed animals, as well as piles of other organic materials such as coal. With this idiosyncratic combination of objects blended in a new context, Armleder succeeds in creating open-ended displays with a clearly recognizable proximity to Dada and Fluxus. With his unique artistic approach, Armleder formulates the possibility of understanding art as the reevaluation of cultural values. He ironically mixes art and the everyday, allows the trivial to shine brilliantly and offers it in front of a gaudily colored and decorated background: “Too Much is not Enough. ”
The exhibition will bring together different bodies of his eclectic production. Highly influential on younger generations of artists and an established figure in the international artistic community, Armleder has exhibited his work extensively throughout Europe. However, many believe he deserves more recognition in the United States.
Armleder’s work will be featured at The Rose through July 29, 2007. A catalogue has been published in collaboration with the Kunstverein Hannover, Germany. It is published and distributed by Kehrer, Heidelberg, Germany.
The exhibition at the Rose Art Museum has been generously supported by Pro Helvetia, Schweizer Kulturstiftung, The Rose Membership Program and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Digital images available upon request. Visit The Rose online at www.brandeis.edu/rose.
About the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis
Located on the campus of Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., The Rose Art Museum was founded in 1961. Over the past 40 years The Rose has earned a considerable reputation for its collections and exhibitions. The collection contains significant holdings in post-War American art including iconic works by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Willem DeKooning, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and numerous others.
The Brandeis art collection of approximately 6,000 objects is considered one of the most significant and comprehensive collections of modern and contemporary art in New England. During the past four decades, The Rose has organized landmark exhibitions including Bruce Conner’s and Louise Nevelson's first one-person exhibitions (1965 and 1967 respectively), Frank Stella’s Protractor Series (1969), the first US museum video art exhibition “Vision and Television” (1970), Helen Frankenthaler’s work from the 1950s (1981), Kiki Smith' and Ellen Gallagher’s first one-person museum exhibitions (1981 and 1993), and the award-winning “More than Minimal” (1996); Roxy Paine (2002); Barry McGee (2003), and “DreamingNow” (2004).