Artwork of the month August 2019

Mario Merz, Senza titolo, 1978

Mario Merz

* 1925 in Milan, Italy, † 2003 in Milan, Italy

Senza titolo, 1978

Metal bars, metal mesh, wax cone with branch, neon numbers, wooden base Igloo: 164 × Ø 300 cm
Private collection | Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz

"All of the spaces around us are different. There are many spaces. The specific space sur- rounding us acts on the human psyche", says Mario Merz. For him, the igloo embodies a "curved space". As an antithesis to "straight space" – as a symbol of organisation, laws and norms, functionality and economy – Merz regards "curved space" as a place of creativity, uncensored ideas, asking questions and autonomy: "I want to create situations and works

that evolve in curved space and that are incorporated into curved space."
The shape of the igloo first appears in Merz's oeuvre in 1967/68. The basic frame of this body of work, that can be assembled and dismantled, consists of curved metal rods. This kind of architecture usually serves as a temporary home for a nomadic lifestyle. Merz him- self refined his igloo structures with various materials including glass, fabric or stone. On the metal mesh exterior of Senza titolo that makes up the hemispherical dome of this igloo we see spiralling neon Fibonacci numbers, a sequence of numbers known since medieval times that represents the progressive growth that can be observed in the reproduction of some species of animals and plants.
For all its permeability between inside and out, the earth-bound hemisphere offers protec- tion and security. It is as if nothing can detract from the calm stability of the nomadic energy, and its force unfolds embedded in the laws of nature. This impression is reinforced by a wax-sheathed branch that penetrates the interior like a lance, like an energy-charged flash of lightning, thus symbolically imbuing the curved space of the dome with energy, vertical- ity, growth and warmth. "You have to construct in a way that is antithetical to present-day models. Construct with processes of development and withdrawal, by deploying willpower and subduing will power, in a natural breath, day and night. Constructing is an hour-by-hour and day-by-day need to fuse your will with everything that is dispersive in life."

Christiane Meyer-Stoll

<b>Mario Merz, Senza titolo, 1978</b>
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein highlights a work from the permanent collection each month throughout the year. Works from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation are also included in this series on a regular basis.