Marisa Merz: The Sky is a Great Space
Exhibition, The Hammer, Los Angeles, US.
The exhibition explores the prodigious talent and influence of Italian painter, sculptor, and installation artist Marisa Merz. She first gained international prominence as part of the circle of artists associated with Arte Povera in the late 1960s, the avant-garde movement that rejected Italy’s material wealth and was identified with the radicalism of the student movement but proclaimed no stylistic or ideological credo except the negation of existing codes and art world limitations. Merz has remained a marginal figure even within the Arte Povera context. As the sole female protagonist, her challenging and evocative body of work, marked by great variety in scale and material, is inflected by sexual and cultural difference.
The Hammer Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are partnering in this exhibition of works by Marisa Merz (born Turin, Italy, 1926), who was awarded the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the 2013 Venice Biennale. This survey will be the first retrospective exhibition of the artist’s work in the United States and will be accompanied by the first monograph to be published in English.
In the last two decades of her career, Merz’s work has grown even larger and more complex. Individual works continue to be integrated into multimedia installations of varying size and intricacy. Her painting and graphic work has also grown ever more elaborate, combining collage elements and diverse materials including tape, mirrors, binder clips, bottle caps, and metallic pigments. Large, visually gorgeous, yet surprisingly unsentimental, paintings of winged angels constitute another important group of very recent works.