Mario Merz

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | New York

The first thing that strikes me about this exhibition is that it is one of the best uses of the Guggenheim space that has ever been made by an artist. Over and over again the works reflect the museum’s spiral, which at its base implies a macrocosmic infinity and at its apex a microcosmic one, its movement linking the two. Merz frequently employs a similar spiral in, among other places, the microcosmic, two-dimensional igloos. The key difference is that in Frank Lloyd Wright’s structure, the romantic sublime still lives, existing in all its difficult, idiosyncratic glory; in Merz, it has become a matter-of-fact code. Indeed, the Fibonacci series, used repeatedly by Merz, is, in effect, a mathematical quantification of spiral movement, a theoretical way of articulating it that forecloses on the experience of it as an opening to the infinite. Merz’s igloo stabilizes what exists unstably in

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