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Merzbild 13A. Der kleine Mergel

The medium of collage was enthusiastically adopted by Kurt Schwitters and other members of the Dada movement in post–World War I Berlin. This Merzbild, like most of Schwitters’s collages, is composed of found objects, including fabric scraps, coins, cork, washers, and nails. Schwitters later explained that the material deprivations of the postwar period inspired the use of these mundane objects in his work. The term Merz was coined by Schwitters, who excised this syllable from an advertisement for the Kommerz- und Privatbank, a German bank. It became the title for Schwitters’s extensive output of collages, assemblages, and installations.

Kurt Schwitters
German, 1887–1948
Merzbild 13A. Der kleine Mergel
1919
Mixed-media assemblage
16 ½ x 12 ¾ in. (41.9 x 32.4 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Jane and Roger Wolcott Memorial, Gift of Thomas T. Solley, 75.39

Large image not available.