Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

John M Armleder

Sans titre, 1991
acrylic on canvas
100.0 x 100.0 cm
In a standard square format of one metre by one metre, the artist has painted eleven slightly slanted parallel beige and white lines. Verging on monotony, these stripes were made using scotch tape; the brushstrokes were applied very evenly over the entire canvas. The nearly imperceptible incline of the lines upsets, if only a little, the perfect appearance of this square format. Existing not quite in the static and not quite in the dynamic, and far from the spectacular, the picture has no particular direction when it comes to how it should be placed on the wall. Indeed, it can be freely turned one way or the other and offers the person who hangs it the chance to actively contribute to the piece.

For John M Armleder, the “well done” and the “poorly done” can coexist without any value judgment. Furthermore, one can see on this canvas that the paint has run in two places and has overflowed at one point. Use of the stripe motif allows the artist to question the status of the work of art, i.e., is it decorative, is it a wall hanging, is it the canvas of a shade, is it a painting just the same? And this also enables him to formulate an indirect commentary on the art of Daniel Buren, who since 1966 has worked exclusively with the stripes motif of canvas shades. Before Armleder, in the 1970s Olivier Mosset reappropriated Buren’s motif in a provocative gesture of vertically striped paintings. Armleder refers simultaneously to both of these artists through the reinterpretation of their gestures, as if in a play of infinite mirrors.
John M Armleder, Sans titre, 1991