Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) is one of the most influential protagonists of the avant-garde, both as an artist and an author. With his utopia of the “total Merz vision of the world” he aimed at the “unification of art and non-art”. The art of assemblage and material art reached its first high point in his work; his “Merzbau” is regarded as a forerunner of present-day installations.
“Everything was in ruins in any case, and it was a matter of rebuilding something new from the fragments. But that is MERZ.” One hundred years ago, after the end of the First World War, Kurt Schwitters declared the syllable “Merz” to be a word mark for his one-man movement and thereby propagated his wide-ranging creative work in almost all areas of art, literature and typography. The expression stands for a concept of the greatest possible unreservedness and artistic freedom in the choice of forms of expression. In Schwitters’s compositions, apparently worthless things are resurrected and open up rich fields of association in new interactions. Merz art is abstract and characterised by the way it crosses borders within the media. For example, the “Merzbau” was created in Hannover between Dada and Constructivism,. This total work of art originally extended across a number of rooms and has been reconstructed in the Sprengel Museum inHannover. The publication provides an introduction to the Merz art of Kurt Schwitters and draws on the wealth of material to be found in the artist’s estate, which is the subject of recent research.
Designed by the award-winning graphic artist Marion Blomeyer.