Mario Merz

Sperone Westwater Fischer

Mario Merz’s most recent exhibition in New York suggested concept fatigue and a certain loss of faith. Since he became known in Europe during the mid-’60s along with others associated with Arte Povera, Merz has constructed his art from a belief whose deities are a concrete materiality and an abstract, ethics-imbued organizing principle. This principle has developed in an additive way according to an expansive blueprint for which Kurt Schwitters’ never-completed Merzbau provides a structural paradigm, and whose “rooms” are filled with Jungian echoes, Fibonacci’s 13th-century mathematical model of organic growth patterns, and a modern philosophy of humanism somewhat similar to Buckminster Fuller’s. Spirals and geodesic “igloo” structures, separate and combined, have dominated most of Merz’s installations since the early ’70s, usually juxtaposed with various other found or concocted elements

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