Armleder, Mosset, and The Front Room

Armleder, Mosset, and The Front Room

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

May 8, 2008



Ei Arakawa, Alex Hubbard and Oscar Tuazon, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Jan Estep, Max Schumann, Vlatka Horvat and Eva Weinmayr, Ed Fella, Brent Green, Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT, and Dexter Sinister, co-operators.
May 9 – August 3, 2008

MAIN GALLERIES / exhibitions with two artists
This spring, conceptual artists John Armleder and Olivier Mosset take over the galleries at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Strongly influential for a younger generation of artists working in the U.S. and in Europe, Armleder’s and Mosset’s work remains unfamiliar to a wider American audience.

The inaugural show of the Contemporary’s new curatorial team signals a commitment to artist-centered exhibitions. Jointly conceived by the artists—who have been close for more than twenty years—the exhibition represents neither a curated two-person show nor two independent solo exhibitions. Instead, it proposes an active juxtaposition of parallel and opposite artistic approaches where artworks act as obstacles, and obstacles act as artworks. Armleder contributes new pour and pattern paintings, a site-specific fifty-foot wall-painting, an installation of Mylar Christmas trees, and strips of metallic vinyl. Mosset, in addition to a series of his infamous “circle paintings” from the late 1960s and early 1970s, presents a large-scale installation of several dozen Toblerones, large cardboard sculptures based on anti-tank structures used by the Swiss army.

John Armleder has produced thousands of sculptures, paintings, drawings, books, and performances, creating an art of impenetrable surfaces that collapses the unique into the generic, and vice-versa. Olivier Mosset, on the other hand, chooses to remain firmly committed to blankness, stripping art of any content, and pursuing a decelerated process, rejecting our conventional notions of progress and insatiable hunger for the new.

THE FRONT ROOM / short exhibitions by artists and others
Running alongside and in contrast with the Main Galleries, The Front Room operates at a different rhythm, with exhibitions lasting anywhere from a day to a few weeks. The Front Room is designed for more reactive, nimble, and experimental exhibitions that test the boundaries of conventional programming and echo the elasticity and simultaneity of contemporary culture. Rooted in a spirit of open and provisional improvisation, the gallery connects the work of a wide range of artists in a restless series of installations, screenings, performances, interventions, and other forms of presentation. By also offering a series of “carte blanches,” this new initiative creates a space of occupation, within the museum’s own walls, for artist-run spaces, cooperatives, artists, curators, and other independent voices from around the world.

The upcoming Front Room season features projects by:
Ei Arakawa (May 9 – 25), Alex Hubbard and Oscar Tuazon (May 27 – June 8), Gardar Eide Einarsson (June 10 – 22), Jan Estep (June 14 – 15), Max Schumann (June 24 – July 6), Vlatka Horvat and Eva Weinmayr (July 8 – 18), Ed Fella, with guest-curator Bruce Burton (July 19 – 25), Brent Green (July 26 – August 10), Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT (August 12 – 31); and Dexter Sinister, co-operators (ongoing).

John Armleder and Olivier Mosset is supported by Swiss Re; Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council; and Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation. The publication is supported by Zane Bennett Contemporary Art, Santa Fe. Special thanks to Galerie Andrea Caratsch, Zürich.

General support for the Contemporary’s exhibition program is generously provided by the Whitaker Foundation; William E. Weiss Foundation; Regional Arts Commission; Arts and Education Council; Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; Nancy Reynolds and Dwyer Brown; and members of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.

With a vision of presenting the most relevant and experimental developments in contemporary art and developing successful community partnerships, education programs and outreach initiatives, the Contemporary makes the arts available to wide and diverse audiences throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. Founded as the Forum for Contemporary Art in 1980, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis re-opened with a new 25,000 square-foot building in 2003.

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
3750 Washington Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

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May 8, 2008

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