Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Image of the Day

Kurt Schwitters: MZ Strong Picture, 1919 (Paper collage) from the exhibition Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage at the Princeton University Art Museum through June 26.

Holland Cotter in last Friday's New York Times:
Schwitters made no categorical distinctions between his art (painting, collage, sculpture, design, installation), his writing (poetry, essays, children’s stories) and his performances. To him they were all integral parts of a one-man cultural movement called Merz, which he invented, deriving the name from Kommerz, German for commerce.

The multidisciplinary nature of Schwitters’s output, which can make a career survey look like a group show, may be one of the reasons he remains an underknown figure. His sole American retrospective, at MoMA, was 25 years ago. Representative samplings of his art have since rarely been on view, there or elsewhere.

Yet he has had a huge effect on post-World War II artists and is revered by many. Two of the collages in the Princeton show are from Jasper Johns’s collection; two others are owned by Ellsworth Kelly. Robert Rauschenberg, who introduced Mr. Johns to Schwitters’s work, was a major fan. And a Schwitters effect, however indirect and unrecognized, can be spotted in much contemporary work.
Read more and see a slideshow at

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