New York

John Armleder

John Gibson Gallery

With virtuosic artlessness, John Armleder achieves Zen summits (and/or pits) through the manipulation of household objects—removing traces of himself and leaving a generous residue of wit and poetry. His recent show evokes oxymorons like “elegant poverty,” “brilliant stupidity,” “seductive lameness”: I’m a total fan. I love the chandelier on the floor. I love the plywood thing. I love the Mamas and the Papas (at least here). The show, in short, is good. Neither decorative nor formally replete, his furniture sculptures seem oddly expectant, like they’re stuck in an existential holding zone that is neither functional nor expressive. Perched on a plywood Minimalist platform the height of a shed, a coffee table becomes dysfunctional and idiotically majestic. With dysfunction can existential speculation be far behind?

At once impassive, because they’re objects, and dependent, because they’re

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