Thursday, 8 October 2009
Mario Merz is an Italian artist who came to prominence in the 'Arte Povera' movement of the 1960's and 70's. The name 'Arte Povera', which translates roughly as 'poor art', came from the artists use of everyday humble materials and there goal to highlight the dehumanizing nature of industrialisation and consumer capitalism.
Merz's work, in the main talks about nature, energy and the passing of time.Best known for his igloos and neon Fibonacci sequences, Mario Merz’s shamanistic installations become spaces both primal and technological, where the scientific basis of organic life confronts the roaming imagination of man. The igloo which began to appear in Merz’s work in 1967 and continued throughout his life was a metaphor for both mans harmony and disharmony with nature. The igloo a home built by native Eskimos keeps in mind nature, blurring the line between interior and exterior. Modern homes on the other hand shut us out and alienate us from nature and Merz in using the igloo is asking us to question our current relationship with the natural world.
Many of his works refer to the principles of the Fibonacci series, an exponential mathematical sequence that underlies the growth patterns of natural life. The pattern when traced out in nature forms a logarithmic spiral found in the plant and animal kingdom. Merz's use of this spiral in his work highlights the idea of continual growth on our planet and the idea that nothing comes from nothing, without the past there is no future.