Fondazione Merz

Marisa e Mario Merz. Sto in quella curva di quella montagna che vedo riflessa in questo lago di vetro. Al tavolo di Mario

18 February – 12 June 2016


MACRO – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma


Curated by Claudio Crescentini, Costantino D’Orazio and Federica Pirani


supported by Roma Capitale – Ministry of Cultural Heritage for Rome in collaboration with the Merz Foundation – Turin

Marisa and Mario Merz are two of the most important figures in the history of twentieth century art. Throughout their careers, which started within the Arte Povera scene, they never separated daily life from artistic creation, in the spirit of a union nourished by an extremely close relationship and constant intellectual exchange, despite the clear distinction between their individual work.

Their relationship, which lasted over fifty years, gave rise to a number of collaborative pieces including some of the tables by Mario Merz displayed in this exhibition, which converse with Marisa’s sculptures, heads and wax installations as part of a collaboration that while constant, was not always openly declared.

The exhibition begins with these experiences and particular focuses on the close bond that the two masters developed with Rome.

The spiral that Mario Merz designed for the Imperial Fora in 2003 will be displayed on a wall at MACRO, for the first time ever in the vertical position originally intended by the artist.

Rome will also be prominent in the exploration of the work of Marisa Merz, who created various projects in the Capital in the Sixties and Seventies: from solo shows at Fabio Sargentini’s L’Attico Gallery (1970 and 1975) to her action at Urbe Airport in 1970.

Marisa Merz’s entire Roman experience will be presented within the exhibition thanks to the photographs of Claudio Abate, who has documented the artist’s shows and actions since the Sixties.

The exhibition will cover Marisa’s entire creative horizon: from her ‘knitted’ copper threads to her nylon sculptures and wax installations. Merz’s world will be explored in its every expression in an attempt to reinstate her asystematic yet extremely coherent character.

To that effect, a fundamental role will be played by the section dedicated to her painting where pieces created in recent years will be on display, revealing an inexhaustible creativity that makes room for use of the most varied materials: from acrylic to plastic, from paper to metal. Now approaching the age of 90, Marisa Merz still displays extraordinary creative energy which sees her still committed to her work every day. From large-scale pieces to ‘indoor’ work, the artist’s language remains extremely vital and forward-thinking.