Marisa Merz

Marisa Merz is an Italian artist best known for her contributions to the Arte Povera movement as the sole female member of the group. Working with both traditional and non-traditional materials, the artist’s works often blur the categorization of domestic objects—blankets, bowls of salt, and boots—with art objects, such as sculpted heads and painted angels. “There has never been any division between my life and my work,” the artist once said. Born in Turin, Italy in 1926, she met and married the artist Mario Merz during the 1950s. In 1965, she began producing her own works while sharing a house with her husband. Over the following decades, the artist combined objects and situations from her daily life with sculpture, painting, and installation, producing a swing for her daughter, props for her husband’s performances, and hanging mobiles for the kitchen. She has gone on to be the subject of numerous exhibitions, including “Marisa Merz: The Sky Is a Great Space,” which traveled from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles in 2017. Merz continues to live and works in Turin, Italy. Today, her works are included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art in Turin, among others.


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