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John M Armleder (Genève, 1948)
Collection : Fonds cantonal d'art contemporain (FCAC)

A rigorous appropriationist, John M Armleder harks back to the history of abstraction by reformulating reference works of the twentieth century, especially with his assemblages of furniture and decorative objects. Minimalism, ornamental, kitsch, luxury and bad taste are some of the categories he asserts and at the same time refutes with irony and detachment. For the Collège de Drize (Drize middle school), he chose to appropriate and highlight an icon of modernist design: the Savoy vase (1938) by the famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. This decorative object’s distinctive organic, sinuous motif has been interpreted and integrated into the building's furniture and the building itself at various scales, composed differently every time. It sets the rhythm of the space like a constantly reinvented visual echo. Around the classroom lamps, in cloakrooms and showers, as door handles, as screen prints on windows inside the gymnasium or outside the building, on the grass by the entrance and alongside the sports facilities, on the running track, the form invented by Aalto becomes the leitmotiv of the Collège de Drize, its emblem, almost its slogan.
Article commissioned by P3Art
Notice: Séverine Fromaigeat, translation: Matthew Cunningham



Work type
Public Art
Object dimensions
dimensions variable
mixed techniques


Route de Drize 8
1227 Carouge, Genève


Details Name Portrait
John M Armleder


Title Country City Details
Fonds cantonal d'art contemporain