Marisa Merz at Palazzo Querini Stampalia

Marisa Merz at Palazzo Querini Stampalia

Fondazione Querini Stampalia

Marisa Merz, “Untitled,” 2010.
Mixed media on paper, 300 x 250 cm.
Artist’s collection.
Photo by Agostino Osio.

June 30, 2011

Marisa Merz
non corrisponde eppur fiorisce
It doesn’t match yet it flourishes
1 June–18 September 2011

Venice, Palazzo Querini Stampalia
Campo Santa Maria Formosa
Castello 5252

One of the most significant and interesting artists of the past forty years and indisputably a protagonist of the Italian art scene since the end of the 1960s when she became part of the important Arte Povera movement, Marisa Merz has become known over the years for a career which developed in a highly personal and, at times, solitary manner.

The exhibition intends to be, above all, a significant tribute to the work of this important artist.

There are two Foundations involved in the project and they will install the work so that it harmonizes with the different characteristics of the venues hosting it: the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice, (from 1 June to 18 September 2011) and the Fondazione Merz, Turin (from May to September 2012).

The two exhibitions will examine Marisa Merz’s work by following the historic and spatial particularities of the two venues.

A third institution, the Fondazione Hangar Bicocca, Milan, will take part in the project by hosting the presentation of the book, which, with its images and essays, will permit an overview of the whole enterprise (September 2012)

The Fondazione Querini Stampalia will be hosting the show Marisa Merz – non corrisponde eppur fiorisce, an exhibition specifically conceived for this venue. Its starting point was the artist’s residence in Venice in 2006; it will be held in the Museo del Settecento with historical works as well as new ones that will outline her most recent activity.

The show in the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, curated by Chiara Bertola, originated with the collaboration of the Fondazione Merz and has as its main sponsor, Pirelli & C. SpA, one of the founding partners of the Fondazione Hangar Bicocca. Our institutional partner is the Veneto regional government.

On show will be some twenty works expressing the intimate and visionary character of Marisa Merz’s poetics—drawings, mixed media on paper and plywood, sculptures made from unfired painted clay and copper wire—and together these will create surprising and significant relationships with some of the works exhibited in the museum’s rooms: from portraits to religious paintings and mythological themes. On show will be, above all, works that Merz has created in recent years with pencil-drawing on canvas, or pastels and wax on cardboard, in her concise and at times evanescent style. These drawings are frequently enriched with fragments that have been cut out and then reattached elsewhere, with imprints, the addition of tacks, staples, superimposed sheets of paper, and pieces of adhesive tape which confer a fragile and provisory aspect on the work.

The theme of faces, central to Marisa Merz’s output, will be the basis of the whole Venetian show. It is a theme that presents a trace of the human spirit, one that emerges in the unique and infinite moment of its first appearance. The physiognomies, consisting of fleeting arabesque lines, are unrelated to any kind of social or narrative context and reveal configurations of abstract marks that challenge individual identity and are fixed in a state of suspended time.

Acting within a universal logic, Marisa Merz’s works reflect her faith in the “duration” of works of art: this goes beyond their material creation and beyond the contingent limitations of time and space and is testified to by the meeting between the contemporary and antique works in the Querini Stampalia museum.

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June 30, 2011

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