“History is the artist; it weaves symbols together over time. Images from all centuries, all known iconography, now form a circular horizon. It is the ring of contemporaneity. All known and recognisable symbols are now contemporary among themselves and contemporary with everything. That ring has an abyss at its centre. Even the symbol on the other hand constitutionally lives the break, the separation, the interval of the void. […] LeWitt’s art has detached itself from that of Merz’s; Merz’s art has passed through that of LeWitt’s, exulting in their difference. It was an exhibition full of dialogue; dialogue that opened an empathetic current of orality between things that were simultaneously present.”
This is how Tommaso Trini described the exhibition LeWitt Merz held in the Pieroni gallery in Rome in December 1985, in words that well represent the essence of the Merz Foundation’s project. This intends to alternate ‘scientific’ exhibitions with exhibitions juxtaposing Mario Merz’s work with that of other artists that are based on dialogue, project cohesion and the sharing of space.
Almost twenty years after that first experience of placing the works of the two great artists side by side in “harmonious dissimilarity”, it was natural to entrust Sol LeWitt with the first show of these ‘comparative’ exhibitions.
Various reasons were behind the choice of Sol LeWitt, not least the friendship and profound esteem that have always linked the two artists, but above all their ability to exhibit together on more than one occasion while remaining autonomous in their art.
The most important representative of Minimal Art in Europe and America shares the spaces of the Merz Foundation, strongly characterised yet at the same time ‘invisible’ with its pure essential architecture, with Merz’s forms and materials.