The self-taught artist Mario Merz, born in Milan in 1925, is considered one of the principal representatives of Arte Povera, an artistic style that started in Italy and which stood in relation to Concept Art, Land Art, Art Informel and Art Brut. Up until his death in 2003, Merz lived and worked in Turin. His hallmark was the igloo, a motif that addresses an existential human concern, shelter; Merz varied its basic structure in different materials. One of his other interests was the use of neon light that he often contrasted with objects found in nature as antipodes of civilization.
The Brandhorst Collection boasts an excellent and representative cross-section of Mario Merz’s work with the igloo Mai alzato pietra su pietra (1968) and the objects Senza titolo (1969), Pittore in Africa (1982) and Numeric in colonna (1986). This insight into the Italian artist’s œuvre is complemented by an early painting and several works on paper from different creative phases throughout the artist’s life.