Los Angeles

Gerhard Merz

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Gerhard Merz has built a reputation in recent years with a series of site-specific installations that attempt to realize the utopian Modernist dream of a formalism that fuses art and architecture in a seamless, nonutilitarian whole. While this seems at first glance to be a hopelessly nostalgic yearning for the “total” art epitomized by the art-for-art’s-sake movements of the early 20th century, Merz introduces enough contradictory elements to create a visually provocative, if theoretically futile work.

Archipittura, 1992, Merz’s recent installation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, was a logical step in this development, combining the dual elements of architecture (architettura, in Italian) and painting (pittura). A large room was split into unequal “halves” by an open-ended dividing wall, which allowed the viewer to walk around it but never to view all of the walls of the room at

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 1992 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.