Kurt Schwitters

German, 1887-1948

4,838 followers
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auction
£14m Auction Record

Kurt Schwitters

German, 1887-1948

4,838
Followers
auction
£14m Auction Record
Biography

Associated with the Dada movement, painter, poet, and mixed-media artist Kurt Schwitters is best known for his collage and assemblage works in which he transformed appropriated imagery and text from print media into dynamic and layered compositions. Schwitters studied at the Dresden Academy of Art with Otto Dix and George Grosz, and after showing in Berlin in 1918 was introduced to Dadaists Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Höch, and Jean Arp. It was at this time he began making assemblages from materials found discarded on the streets of his home city, Hannover, intending to reflect the ruined state of German culture; he called the works Merzbilder after the German word “Kommerz,” as in Merzbild 1A. The mental doctor (1919). Unlike the Berlin Dadaists, however, Schwitters’ main concern was art-making, not political activism, and he is remembered best for his innovative use of mixed-media and masterful sense of composition.

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auction
High auction record
£14m, Christie's, 2014
user
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 4 more
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 9 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 1 more
Biography

Associated with the Dada movement, painter, poet, and mixed-media artist Kurt Schwitters is best known for his collage and assemblage works in which he transformed appropriated imagery and text from print media into dynamic and layered compositions. Schwitters studied at the Dresden Academy of Art with Otto Dix and George Grosz, and after showing in Berlin in 1918 was introduced to Dadaists Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Höch, and Jean Arp. It was at this time he began making assemblages from materials found discarded on the streets of his home city, Hannover, intending to reflect the ruined state of German culture; he called the works Merzbilder after the German word “Kommerz,” as in Merzbild 1A. The mental doctor (1919). Unlike the Berlin Dadaists, however, Schwitters’ main concern was art-making, not political activism, and he is remembered best for his innovative use of mixed-media and masterful sense of composition.

Want to sell a work by this artist? Consign with Artsy.
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
auction
High auction record
£14m, Christie's, 2014
user
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 4 more
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 9 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 1 more
Shows Featuring Kurt Schwitters
Articles Featuring Kurt Schwitters
5 Zürich Gallery Shows You Need to See This Summer
Jun 14th, 2016
100 Years On, Why Dada Still Matters
May 25th, 2016
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