Coussin – Cardin – Cousin was born in 2004 out of the collaboration between two leading European conceptual artists of the 20th Century: Swiss artist John Armleder and French artist Bertrand Lavier. The work is a cushion signed on either side by the two artists. The artists use irony to comment on the world of art and the idea of authorship, leaving us to decide each day whether the cushion belongs to Armleder or Lavier.
A key player on the European art scene since the eighties, Bertrand Lavier’s oeuvre focuses on the transformation of the common object into a work of art. Since the 1960s, Lavier has reflected on the relationship between painting and sculpture, between representation and abstraction, between life and art, and from these reflections came his best-known intervention: covering everyday objects with what he calls typical ‘Van Gogh-brushwork’. Thanks to the dense and material mixing of the paints, banal objects become artworks but, above all, the object becomes the painted image of itself. Paradoxically, the representation of reality only occurs when the original object is hidden from view and completely disappears, thus forcing us to rethink it and free ourselves from the clichés that distort its perception. Bertrand Lavier has had countless exhibitions, but we need only mention here the great retrospective that the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris dedicated to him in 2012.