An artist of international renown and one of the principal artists to have taken part in numerous exhibitions under the banner of "Arte Povera" since 1967, he has been invited to exhibit at the most important art events and has had solo exhibitions in the most significant international museums and galleries. His art is based on inventions: architectural structures (the progression of tables, spirals or the better known igloos...), pictorial constructions (which he has realised since the inception of Merz as artist), the cyclical, natural and numerical development of the elements (the application of Fibonacci’s numerical progression), the use of materials rejected by society (broken glass, old newspapers...), and strategic declarations and the use of ("Se il nemico si concentra perde terreno, se si disperde perde forza", "Objet cache-toi", "Città irreale"...) that are inserted into his works as axioms.
Text freely extracted from "Mario Merz. Voglio fare subito un libro", Hopefulmonster, 1985
Mario Merz (1925 - 2003) has directly worked in many public spaces during his career, including: the Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA; the Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea (Turin); the metro systems of Naples and Berlin, Germany; Zurich railway station, Switzerland; the tramway line in Strasbourg, France, and the Mole Antonelliana in Turin. His work has been exhibited in prestigious institutions worldwide, including: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; DIA Art Foundation, New York, USA; Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, Milan; Tate Modern, London, UK; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA; Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands; Whitechapel, London, UK; ARC/Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris, France; Kunsthalle, Basel, Switzerland; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Galleria Civica d'Arte Contemporanea, Trento; Centro di Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato; Kunsthaus, Zurich, Switzerland. He participated in 1979 in the Sydney Biennale, in 1982 and 1992 respectively in Documenta 7 and 9 in Kassel, Germany, and in the Venice Biennales of 1976, 1978, 1986 and 1997, the latter curated by Germano Celant. In 2001 he received an honorary degree from the DAMS of Bologna, while in 2003 he was awarded the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture by the Japan Art Association.
Photo © Paolo Mussat Sartor