Saturday, May 8, 2010

1920's Kurt Schwitter - Pam

Kurt Schwitters was a multi-skilled artist experimenting in typographer, poetry, music, body painting, cabaret, graphic design, multimedia art and photography. However he was famously recognised as the 20th century’s greatest Master of Collage. His abstract collages (also known as Merz pictures) were works of art made from fragments of everyday rubbish such as candy wrappers, beer labels, postage stamps, rusty nails, fabric swatches and newspaper clippings to name a few.

Kurt Schwitters art started off as post-impressionist however grew darker during WW1 and developing a distinctive expressionist tone. The end of World War 1 left many materials around him destroyed and Schwitters attempted to make coherent aesthetic sense of the world around him by creating new life and beauty from the ruins of Germany.

In late 1918 he was introduced to Hans Arp who influenced him to abandon his sterile academic techniques and create his own style of collage. Later all of his collages took on the name of Merz Pictures. Merz was founded from a piece of text in a sentence “Commerz Und Privatbank” found from the refuse.

From 1919 Schwitters created many Merz pictures from abstraction and realism, aesthetics and rubbish to art and life. He had dabbled in many different genres from Dada, cubism, to however from around 1924 adopted more modernist style with less political context. With the composition of Merz his pictures became more clear-cut, with textures more uniform and individual elements larger and simplified His influence at this time was more of a constructivism style with reliance on primary colours, clear geometrical forms and architectonic arrangements.

During the 1920’s Schwitters spent most of his time working on Merzbau (an architectural construction that incorporated found objects and junk into his montage pieces in three-dimensional pieces) and the Dadaist magazine called Merz. In 1924 he founded his own successful advertising agency – Merzwerbe.

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