A dancing kaleidoscope of fireworks, flashing lights and colours illuminates Museion's media façade. Inside the museum a fake Christmas tree decorated with blue lights lies on the ground against the backdrop of a large coloured canvas that channels the spirit of minimalist artworks. "Endless" is the title of the double project conceived by John Armelder for the 2016 festive season in Bolzano, on during the same period as the city's renowned Christmas markets.
The invitation issued to the Swiss artist was no coincidence: Christmas and everything associated with it have long been the focus of his work. For more than ten years he has hosted spectacular "Christmas Parties" at his home in Geneva - which once belonged to a magician – inviting personalities from all over the world. The theme also dominates many of his works, which include tables sprinkled with snow, his famous “pour paintings” - canvases featuring cascades of acrylic paint, metallic enamels, lacquer and glitter - and others interspersed with baubles and Christmas decorations, or even coloured mirrors alternated with neon lights. His most recent site specific installations include that for the Rinascente shop window in Milan, for Christmas 2015, entitled "Let it Shine, Let it Shine, Let it Shine. It’s Xmas again!”.
Armelder's works are a triumph of hyper-decoration: lights, gloss and glitter, striking visual effects with markedly kitsch overtones. The Swiss artist, an exponent of the neo-avantgarde current, is known for a variegated oeuvre that succeeds in blending the spirit of fluxus and abstract painting, ready-mades and sculpture, performance and installation, eluding any attempt at classification: everything in his work is in constant transformation, and like in life, things flow naturally from one form to another.
John Armleder was born in Geneva in 1948, where he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. His artistic career began in the 1960s, when he joined the Fluxus group. In 1969 he founded the Ecart group with Patrick Lucchini and Claude Rychner. In the wake of his experience with Ecart, Armleder forged a vision of art stripped of its sacred aura: something ironic, inventive and playful. In 1986 he represented Switzerland at the Venice Biennale. He lives and works in New York and Geneva.