Living Sculpture

A work made of aluminum and paint.
© Marisa Merz.

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  • A work made of aluminum and paint.

Date:

1966

Artist:

Marisa Merz
Italian, 1931-2019

About this artwork

In the late 1960s the term Arte Povera was coined to describe the radical style of a group of Italian artists who began to engage everyday materials. Marisa Merz was included in the important Arte Povera + Azioni Povere exhibition in 1968 as one of the movement’s leading practitioners. She spent the majority of her career, however, retreating from the public sphere, creating works in intimate settings such as her home. Merz has in fact stated, “There has never been any division between my life and my work.” This three-part work belongs to the larger series Untitled (Living Sculptures), begun in 1965. These extraordinary objects, crafted from thin folds of pliant, layered sheet metal, were made to hang from the ceiling of her Turin apartment. Her living and working spaces became, to varying degrees, a forest, a hive, a cave, and a womb. Merz’s process turned simple industrial materials into fluid, organic forms. Removed from any social or narrative context, her abstract, formal inventions operate within their own temporal logic, reflecting the artist’s belief in the enduring effect of each artwork beyond its material realization and the constraints of time and place.

Currently Off View

Contemporary Art

Artist

Marisa Merz

Title

Living Sculpture

Date

1966

Medium

Aluminum and paint

Dimensions

351.2 × 264.2 × 180.3 cm (138 1/4 × 104 × 71 in.) Three individual elements: A: 334.6 × 137.2 × 85.1 cm (131 3/4 × 54 × 33 1/2") B: 205.7 × 101 × 87.6 cm (81 × 39 3/4 × 34 1/2") C: 284.5 × 88.9 × 87.6 cm (112 × 35 × 34 1/2")

Credit Line

Through prior gifts of Adeline Yates and Fowler McCormick; Wilson L. Mead Fund

Reference Number

2011.52

Copyright

© Marisa Merz.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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