Artist Mario Merz was born in 1925 in Milan, Italy most known for his igloo sculptures and for being one of the key figures, along with his wife, sculptor Maris Merz, of Arte Povera. Arte Povera, translating to “Poor Art”, was a movement that rejected institutions and established, conventional mentalities. The movement took on a reduced form of art that favoured natural materials and style, a style that is prominent in Merz’s work when observing the various types of materials used to build his igloos. Much of his artwork also included the Fibonacci sequence of numbers emphasizing progression, creation, and growth and neon lights and tubes, showing his experimentation with light, energy, movement, and organic and inorganic forms. Merz was also highly influenced by architecture and how bodies occupy spaces.
Merz’s work has been displayed in several museums, some of which include the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Guggenheim in New York, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. He has won several awards as well, which include the Ambrogino Gold Prize, the Oskar Kokoschka Prize, the Arnold Bode Prize, and the Praemium Imperiale for sculpture. Merz passed away in 2003 in Milan, Italy.
text PERWANA NAZIF