Mario Merz

Italian, 1925–2003

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Mario Merz

Italian, 1925–2003

800
Followers
Biography

A key member of the Arte Povera group, Mario Merz produced expansive mixed-media paintings, sculptures, and installations, through which he propagated an egalitarian, human-centered vision. Through art, he counteracted what he saw as the dehumanizing forces of industrialization and consumerism. Together with compatriots including Jannis Kounellis and Michelangelo Pistoletto, Merz eschewed fine art materials in favor of everyday and organic matter, like food, earth, found objects, and neon tubing. In 1968, he presented his first igloo, which became a motif in his work, representing the fundamental human need for shelter, nourishment, and connection to nature. By 1970, the Fibonacci sequence became central to his work, shaping the tables and spiraling forms for which he was known, and incorporated into his igloos and canvases. In these Merz sought limitlessness, against the confines of modern life.

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
£1m, Christie's, 2014
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 3 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 17 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 4 more
Biography

A key member of the Arte Povera group, Mario Merz produced expansive mixed-media paintings, sculptures, and installations, through which he propagated an egalitarian, human-centered vision. Through art, he counteracted what he saw as the dehumanizing forces of industrialization and consumerism. Together with compatriots including Jannis Kounellis and Michelangelo Pistoletto, Merz eschewed fine art materials in favor of everyday and organic matter, like food, earth, found objects, and neon tubing. In 1968, he presented his first igloo, which became a motif in his work, representing the fundamental human need for shelter, nourishment, and connection to nature. By 1970, the Fibonacci sequence became central to his work, shaping the tables and spiraling forms for which he was known, and incorporated into his igloos and canvases. In these Merz sought limitlessness, against the confines of modern life.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
£1m, Christie's, 2014
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 3 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 17 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 4 more
Articles Featuring Mario Merz
The Free-Spirited Amalfi Coast Weekend That Launched Arte Povera
Feb 26th, 2019
The 1960s
Aug 4th, 2015
Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Reflections Bring the Viewer into the Work
Jun 30th, 2015
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