John Armleder - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Friday, October 16, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Marika Malacorda, Geneva; Private collection, Switzerland

  • Exhibited

    Geneva, Galerie Marika Malacorda, John Armleder, 1989; Geneva, Museé d'art moderne et contemporain, Amor vacui, horror vacui, 18 October, 2006 - 21 January, 2007

  • Literature

    Exhibition catalogue, Musee Rath, John M. Armleder: Furniture Sculpture: 1980-1990, p. 110 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Begun in 1979, the Furniture Sculptures form a pivotal body of work from John Armleder's extensive and diverse oeuvre. The present lot, a 1989 assemblage comprised of three vintage upholstered chairs symmetrically arranged on a painted plinth, is a powerful example of the Swiss artist's masterful navigation of the terrain between art and design, painting and the object. Following on from his influential predecessor John Cage and the artists of the Fluxus movement, Armleder continually blurs the lines and definitions of the 'decorative' and the 'fine art', the 'readymade' and the 'sculpture.' Along with his American 1980s contemporaries, the Neo-Geo group comprised of the likes of Jeff Koons, Peter Halley and Haim Steinbach, John Armleder's groundbreaking avant-garde art and in particular his Furniture Sculptures from that decade were a blend of different artistic media and disciplines which created a new form of expression.   
    'I guess the Furniture Sculptures were first a take on Erik Satie's Furniture Music, compositions that were to be heard rather than listened to. It was early ambient music, elevator music, and also early repetitive or minimal music. For Satie, it was sort of a disappointment that people took it as concert work when it was featured as background entertainment at a vernissage. The entertainment issue is something that I address in my own work. To use a dry, almost academic approach, the object quality of the painting is associated with the piece of furniture. The happy or not-so-happy fate of many paintings is to be integrated into a domestic environment, more often than not close to the odd sofa, armchair, or chest. As Olivier Mosset once observed, I simply anticipate that, and provide the furniture together with the painting.' (John Armleder in conversation with Raphaela Platow, October 2006 as quoted in exhibition catalogue, John M. Armleder. not Enough, Hannover, 2006, p. 99) 


Furniture Sculpture 230

Three velvet upholstered sidechairs and acrylic on panel.
112 x 180 x 150 cm. (44 x 70 ¾ x 59 in.)
Signed, titled and dated 'John Armleder 1989 FS230' on the reverse of one chair and on the reverse of the plinth.

£30,000 - 40,000 

Sold for £46,850

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

17 Oct 2009