John Armleder - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Wednesday, October 16, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Massimo de Carlo, Milan

  • Catalogue Essay

    A vibrantly coloured canvas from 2007, La Cantina dei Pescatori is a brilliant example of the ‘Pour Paintings’ conceived by the Swiss-born John Armleder. Generated in the 1980s, this series of works manages to discern Armleder’s diverse spectrum of media: combining the spirit of Fluxus and abstract painting, ready-made and sculpture, and performance and installation pieces. Exhibiting a subtle interplay of dripping paint, the present lot conveys a powerful and unique painterly excellence – culminating in a mesmerising and melodious ocular account of a corporeal and visceral confrontation between the artist, his paints, and his medium.

    In the Pour Paintings, Armleder abandons geometrical formalism in its order as well as departing from the traditional fundamentals of painting production. Paint and enamel, and a variety of chemicals are applied on the upper edge of the canvas, resulting in the pouring of paint down the picture plane. Driven by motives of perception and luminosity, Armleder is interested in the alchemical reaction light induces in his paintings. Reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s Oxidation paintings, the present lot forges a painterly amalgam between an opulent surface and a greasy, viscosity on the canvas, oscillating between a minimal composition and an “action painting”. The meandering paths of the pouring paint become mixed and slightly unwavering, while the heterogeneous range of the painting media facilitates haphazard chemical reactions. Armleder simultaneously transcends both categorical and unequivocal definitions of painting, exhibiting a concept of natural metamorphosis where everything is constantly changing, flowing naturally from one form into another in his works. A hyper-ornamentation of lavish light and lacquer, the present lot is radiantly comprised of amazing visual effects, flaunting a matrix that is markedly kitsch.


La Cantina dei Pescatori

mixed media on canvas
248.9 x 149.9 cm. (98 x 59 in.)
Signed and dated 'John Armleder 2007' on the overlap.

£40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for £92,500

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Head of Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4061

Contemporary Art Day Sale

London 17 October 2013