Medium
Image rights
Image provided by Yale University Art Gallery / © Kurt Schwitters / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

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.

High auction record
£14.0m, Christie's, 2014
Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Selected exhibitions
2016
MashUp: The Birth of Modern CultureVancouver Art Gallery
Theo van Doesburg: A New Expression of Life, Art and TechnologyCentre for Fine Arts (BOZAR)
Modern Masters: Degenerate Art at the Museum of Fine Arts BernKunstmuseum Bern
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Merzbild mit Regenbogen (Merz Picture With Rainbow), 1920-1939

Mixed media and paint on plywood
61 3/5 × 47 4/5 × 10 1/2 in
156.528 × 121.285 × 26.67 cm
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Medium
Image rights
Image provided by Yale University Art Gallery / © Kurt Schwitters / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

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.

High auction record
£14.0m, Christie's, 2014
Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works by Kurt Schwitters
Related works
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