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Marisa Merz Untitled

Marisa Merz began to work in Turin in the 1960s, at the height of experimentation in the sphere of art. Although she was at the center of an art system going through upheaval, her path was immediately distinguished by an attitude of self-conscious otherness and auto-exclusion, and was characterized by attention to the intimacy of the artistic gesture in a continuous ritual of repetition and representation of her private life. Her works are deliberately beyond any type of classification and are often the outcome of deep reflection on the theme of maternity, taken as a metaphor for the process of creation and new awareness of her interior experience. The levity and intimism implicit in the artist’s gestures pass through simple, primordial actions such as braiding, embroidery, knotting, all practices that suggest a female universe and claim their own autonomy and significance. In the series of her latest endeavors, to which the work in the collection belongs, the artist combines clay, copper and paper – materials she has always preferred for their malleability – bringing them together to create a universe of angelical female figures that are reflected, in this work, in the sheet of copper placed on the ground, upon which a clay head is posed. The celestial figures that populate this micro-universe seem to be engaged in a sort of “sacred conversation”, emphasized by a compositional structure that is typical of the Italian artistic tradition: the diptych. The concave form creates a space of reflection, in which mysterious and evocative relations take form between the copper, the head of clay and the painting.
On View
C. Grenier (ed.), Marisa Merz, exhibition catalogue (Paris, Centre Pompidou), Paris 1994. P.G. Castagnoli, D. Eccher (eds.), Marisa Merz, exhibition catalogue (Bologna, Galleria d’Arte Moderna – Villa delle Rose), Turin 1998. D. Schwarz, Marisa Merz, exhibition catalogue (Winterthur, Kunstmuseum; New York, Barbara Gladstone Gallery), Turin 2004. C. Italiano (ed.), A proposito di Marisa Merz, Milan 2011.
Photo Credits
Foto Patrizia Tocci
Legal status
Purchased from Beatrice Merz
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