Writings by artist
with a selection of texts by Mario Merz
format: 23 x 27 cm
date of publication: July 2018
€5,00On the 50th anniversary of the protest movements of 1968, this exhibition provides food for thought concerning a period full of creative ferment, which triggered new processes of transformation and renewed vision of the future. The artist experienced this period as a protagonist, together with many of his travelling companions, with the aim of redefining the cultural and ideological canons. The exhibition presents a dozen works created by Merz between 1966 and 1973. This change involved all the arts, from literature to music, theatre, cinema and, of course, the visual arts, which have seen such significant movements coexist such as minimalism, arte povera, land and conceptual art, simultaneously contrasting the then emerging American art with the European scene. It has generated a climate rich in extraordinary sensitivity, a new existential model based on a constant commitment to the concept, presentation and distribution of the art of one’s own time: breaking through the object, a constant and direct control at all times, a shift of art into life, a passionate, multi-faceted and supporting art. The exhibition becomes a story, therefore, suspended between the historical, the political and the poetic, a narration that starts from the words of Mario Merz himself and presents some of the most important works of those years that have become icons of his artistic career. Continuing the Fondazione’s ongoing programme dedicated to the work of Mario and Marisa Merz, this exhibition, Sitin by Mario Merz is the latest in the series of thematic presentations of his work. Previous exhibition themes include: drawing in 2010; pictorial production and its link to architectural design in 2011; and most recently, in 2016, La natura è l’equilibrio, which focused on the relationship between nature and culture. This publication offers a view of the exhibition at the Fondazione together with a selection of texts by Mario Merz on show.
edited and translated by Nadia Caprioglio
introduction by Jean-Claude Marcadé
format: 16,5 x 24 cm
date of publication: February 2010
The history of Russian art between 1919 and 1930 offers numerous examples of collaboration between painters and writers who came into close contact in the avant-garde groups. Malevich, for his part, felt that the pictorial medium was insufficient to respond to the more precise demands of a new logical discourse, and in the summer of 1919 he temporarily abandoned painting in order to turn to the creation of theoretical texts. Rejecting the “imperfection of the ruffled brush” in favour of the “subtlety of the pen”, Malevich crossed the boundary between painter and philosopher. He did not write about Suprematism, but wrote as a Suprematist, drawing on the extra-pictorial consequences of the new meaning he attributed to painting. The result is an immense corpus of writings, the whole of which constitutes a great book illustrating the artist’s universe. His constantly moving thinking can be found scattered throughout the theoretical essays, polemical articles and letters, which were continually revised, as if the author wanted to sketch define it more closely, and continually interrupted. At times, one has the feeling that Malevich eschews the final version; that the texts are written on the spur of the moment, without revision or correction. Alongside treatises and manifestos in which the philosophy of art appears inseparable from reflections on politics, economics and religion, Malevich’s legacy as a writer has recently been enriched by the discovery of a considerable quantity of poems, some of which are still unpublished. A prolific and polemical writer, Malevich is noteworthy not only for his richness and originality (and sometimes extravagance), but also for his fascinating, ungrammatical literariness. He often ignored not only the rules of spelling and punctuation, but also the usual human logic. His rough prose, which initially repels the reader, ends up capturing and involving him thanks to its vigour and prophetic spirit; the numerous neologisms are a good test for the translator, who is often forced to undertake an exegesis of ’transmental’ linguistic forms and philosophical terms created on the hoof.
Jean-Claude Marcadé, emeritus director of research at the C.N.R.S Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, has been the curator and scientific commissioner of numerous exhibitions, including the monographic exhibition dedicated to Malevich at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Bilbao in 2006.
Nadia Caprioglio graduated from the University of Turin in Russian Language and Literature. She completed a PhD in Comparative Slavic Literature at the University of Milan and spent time at the A. Pushkin Institute of Russian Language and Literature in Moscow, the Lomosov University in Moscow, the Université Libre in Brussels and the University of Nebraska in Omaha. She has been a researcher at the University of Turin since 1992, and since the 1996-97 academic year has held the chair of Contemporary Russian Literature at the Faculty of Education where she holds courses on twentieth-century poetry and preparatory seminars on Russian versification.
format: 19 x 20 cm
date of publication: 2009
€30,00The artist’s book brings together 138 drawings created by Marzia Migliora between 2006 and 2008. The title Ink on paper incisively defines the content of the book, in which the choice of colour, limited to two Indian ink colours, red and black, determines the thread accompanying a journey through images without the aid of the written word. The book contains no critical apparatus or texts: a choice designed to highlight the expressive and evocative freedom of the language of drawing. The sequence of drawings traces a narrative thread that is composed in the eyes of the viewer without imposing a pre-established reading. The book is divided into six projects with a blank page, a pause, a breath to take the eye to another place. The subjects represented move from the woods to the high seas, from domestic interiors to spaces in which an undefined outline sees the protagonists floating in the white of the paper, the void. This too takes shape, becoming a consistent physical space: a place. Drawing for Marzia Migliora is an act of discovery, a glance at her surroundings, a private act in close relation to her own reserve of past observations, the blank sheet of paper a condition of existence, the area in which to give birth to a situation and make it become conscious.
fondazione merz i quaderni.3
format: 15 x 21 cm
date of publication: May 2009
images: 42 col.
This third quaderno is dedicated to Gino De Dominicis, as Andrea Bellini writes “can be considered one of the most emblematic and mysterious figures in the history of Italian art in the post-WWII period. He is still in many ways something of a mystery, surrounded by a legendary aura. De Dominicis was and remains an isolated case, a complex personality who always turned his back on the logic of groups and movements, cultivating a superior, noble, and solitary notion of artistic creation.”
i quaderni is a series of slender books aiming to inform the public of all the activities promoted by the Torinese institution. Each issue is based upon an event of particular importance – to be documented with images in a manner that is better and more comprehensive than the eventual catalogue – and so recreate the entire season of which it is a part, recording the gossamer threads the things of art follow. Threads that echo an interrupted dialogue with Mario Merz, with his works that are preserved and presented by the fondazione, and with his writings, an unpublished selection of which will be presented in each issue of i quaderni. Every quaderno will be rounded off with a section of Technical notes, with the lists of works exhibited, and a Chronology presenting, in synoptic tables, the complex itinerary packed with performances, readings, didactic activities, congresses, planned by the scientific committee which, alongside its president, Beatrice Merz, comprises Richard Flood (The New Museum, New York), Dieter Schwarz (Kunstmuseum, Winthertur) and Vicente Todolí (Tate Modern, London).
fondazione merz i quaderni.1
texts by Sol Lewitt and Mario Merz
format: 15 x 21 cm
date of publication: January 2009
images: 42 col.
€15,00The Foundation Merz prepares to celebrate its fourth birthday by publishing the quaderni, a series of slim volumes aiming to provide the public with the latest news regarding all the activities promoted by the Turin-based institute. Each issue takes its cue from a particularly important event – which it intends to document through images better and more numerous than in any eventual catalogue – in order to reconstruct the entire season of which it was part, testifying to the subtle narratives adopted by the evolution of art. This first issue is dedicated to Sol Lewitt, the great American artist, exponent of minimalism and conceptual art, famous throughout the world for his Wall Paintings. These publications reflect an uninterrupted dialogue with Mario Merz, with his works preserved and presented by the foundation and with his writings, of which each issue of i quaderni presents a previously unpublished selection. Each issue of i quaderni is rounded off by a section of critical texts, with lists of the works on display, and a chronology that gives a synopsis of the complex itinerary – full of performances, readings, educational activities and conferences – planned by the scientific committee which, along with the president, Beatrice Merz, includes Richard Flood (The New Museum, New York), Dieter Schwarz (Kunstmuseum, Winthertur) and Vicente Todolí (Tate Modern, London).
fondazione merz i quaderni.2
texts by Mario Merz
format: 15 x 21 cm
date of publication: January 2009
images: 42 col.
€20,00The second instalment of the Fondazione Merz’s i quaderni series is dedicated to the major Mario Merz exhibition held last year, which presented the public with the largest selection of drawings by the great master, some of which had never been on public display before. The series consists of slim volumes that keep the public up to date on all the activities promoted by the Turin institute. Each issue takes its cue from a particularly important event – which the Fondazione documents through images in greater numbers and detail than does a catalogue – to reconstruct the entire season of which it was part, testifying to the subtle narrative followed by the evolution of art. These publications reflect an uninterrupted dialogue with Mario Merz, with his works preserved and presented by the foundation and with his writings, of which each issue of i quaderni presents a previously unpublished selection. Each issue of i quaderni is rounded off by a section of critical texts, with lists of the works on display, and a chronology that gives a synopsis of the complex itinerary – full of performances, readings, educational activities and conferences – planned by the scientific committee which, along with the president, Beatrice Merz, includes Richard Flood (The New Museum, New York), Dieter Schwarz (Kunstmuseum, Winthertur) and Vicente Todolí (Tate Modern, London).