Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collageby Isabel Schulz, Josef Helfenstein (Introduction), Leah Dickerman (Contribution by), Gwendolen Webster (Contribution by)
Best known for his extraordinary abstract collages, German artist Kurt Schwitters (1887–1948) is one of the most influential figures of the international avant-garde. Emphasizing the significance of color and light in the artist’s work and delving into the relationship between collage and painting, this handsome volume accompanies the first U.S.
Best known for his extraordinary abstract collages, German artist Kurt Schwitters (1887–1948) is one of the most influential figures of the international avant-garde. Emphasizing the significance of color and light in the artist’s work and delving into the relationship between collage and painting, this handsome volume accompanies the first U.S. retrospective of the artist’s oeuvre in twenty-five years.
Affiliated with Dada and the Constructivist movement in the years following WWI, he coined the term “merz” to describe his ambition to “make connections, preferably between everything in the world.” Schwitters’s merz gave seemingly worthless objects of urban waste—train tickets, newspaper fragments, bits of wire—new life as compositional elements in his installations, assemblages, sculptures, and collages. Hoping to unify life and art by incorporating everyday objects into his work, this pioneer of installation art came closest to his ideal with Merzbau, a room-size walk-in sculpture constructed entirely of found materials.
Alongside images and analysis of a full-scale reconstruction of Merzbau, this book includes an illustrated chronology and 90 color plates of Schwitters’s assemblages, reliefs, sculptures, and collages, with emphasis on merz works from the 1920s and 1940s. The selection not only illuminates the artist’s response to the dominant art movements of his time but also illustrates his unique composition and design. Essays by prominent scholars provide new perspective on the artist who created poetry from the commonplace.
- Yale University Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 10.30(w) x 11.80(h) x 1.00(d)
Meet the Author
Isabel Schulz is the executive director of the Kurt and Ernst Schwitters Collection and the curator of the Kurt Schwitters Archive at the Sprengel Museum in Hannover. Josef Helfenstein is director of The Menil Collection. Leah Dickerman is curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gwendolen Webster is an independent scholar and expert on Schwitters. Clare Elliott is assistant curator at The Menil Collection.
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