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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

fragments

En Morn, 1947. via the guardian

I think there are few artists as interesting as Kurt Schwitters.  Considering that I have made collages and collected magazine scraps for years, Schwitters' work initially excited me on that level. Heavily layered, intricate landscapes of sweet wrappers, newspaper scraps, magazine cuttings, translucent tissues, and miscellaneous tickets, Scwitters’ collages unite low culture with the sublime beauty of high art, transforming everyday ‘found objects’ into beautiful artefacts.
 His Merzbau project is perhaps even more fascinating and extraordinary than his somewhat tidy, and often delicate collages. Approximately between 1919 until he was forced into exile by the Nazis in 1937, Schwitters transformed his home and studio in Hanover into a ‘three dimensional collage’ known as the Merzbau.  The Merzbau was a vast and enigmatic project, involving the metamorphosis of everyday fragments of the commodity realm into relics of almost spiritual consideration and phantasmagoric spectacle; particularly the eerie grottos and uncanny columns which seem to simultaneously venerate and attack consumer culture. Undoubtedly, few things I have studied in the History of Art have disturbed and enthralled me in equal measure as much as Schwitters' Merzbau.

While I am delighted to be off to London at the weekend, I am slightly gutted to be missing out on the Schwitters in Britain exhibition by a mere few weeks. Schwitters in Britain opens at the Tate on January 30. Have a gander for me please!

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