John M. Armleder

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Untitled, 2007
Acrylic, emulsion
590 x 550 cm
Munich, cafeteria
(c) John M. Armleder; photo: Jörg Koopmann

The mural by John M. Armleder (* 1948 Geneva, CH) is a site-specific installation which, at first sight, looks like a kind of decorative wallpaper covering the rear wall of the Grasserstraße cafeteria. The decorative pattern is made up of a repeated six-cornered honeycomb-like shape that evokes the aesthetics of technical drawings. And indeed it is a type of construction drawing - only it depicts the bodies of minute life forms. The work is inspired by a microscopic image of plankton from the book Art Forms in Nature (Ernst Haeckel, 1899-1904), devoted to the detailed representation of the diverse forms of mainly very tiny organisms. Haeckel's publication had a great influence on a wide range of art movements such as art nouveau. Armleder, also, addresses a fundamental topos, namely the connection between art and science, in this ornamental work and illustrates that this connection is also defined through the concept of beauty.

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