Marisa Merz (Italian, born 1926) Untitled 2013
Lot 34AR
Marisa Merz
(Italian, born 1926)
Untitled
2013
Sold for £ 43,750 (US$ 58,131) inc. premium

Lot Details
Marisa Merz (Italian, born 1926) Untitled 2013
Marisa Merz (Italian, born 1926)
Untitled
2013

mixed media on panel in a wooden box

35 by 32 by 10 cm.
13 3/4 by 12 5/8 by 3 15/16 in.

This work was executed in 2013.

Footnotes

  • This work is registered in the Archivio Merz, Turin, under no. 2134/2013/TM, and is accompanied by a photo-certificate of authenticity.

    Provenance
    Bernier/Eliades Gallery, Athens
    Acquired directly from the above by the present owner

    Exhibited
    Athens, Bernier/Eliades Gallery, Marisa Merz, 2013, p. 11, illustrated in colour (installation view); p. 32, no. 14, illustrated in colour and p. 40, illustrated in colour (installation view)



    Rightly respected as one of the most important living female artists, Marisa Merz's major solo exhibition The Sky is a Great Space at the Met Breuer in New York in 2017, cemented that position. It is predominantly her broad range of media which defines her oeuvre and Untitled from 2013 represents the fruit of decades of artistic research and experimentation. The present work was executed in the same year in which she was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale, a crowning achievement to a remarkable career.

    The wooden box which surrounds the slanting panel instead of the usual frame, evokes the three-dimensional installations of her early works; the simplicity of the materials used in this piece recall her series of head sculptures and the gold colour is a leitmotif that features in most of her artistic production. When one contemplates this work, one's attention is grabbed by the wooden box which seems to protect and preserve the painting, and by the slanting panel which, on the contrary, seems to invite the viewer into the work. Furthermore, the gold strokes seem both to enhance the central, delicate face and to surround her thus creating an intimate and safe atmosphere. At the same time, however, the red colour of both the eyes and the mouth together with the bright light blue at the side of her face appear to be coming out of the work, thus striking the viewer.

    At first glance, this work may seem simple thanks to the technique that it recalls: the collage. On one hand the unusual materials used by the artist evoke the theme of childhood and of the games that children usually play. However, analysing the complex structure of the work, the viewer can understand how this piece is the outcome of a long and accurate artistic research.

    Marisa Merz's oeuvre transcends any category and is timeless: the artist herself references the fluidity of her works by naming many of them Untitled. Her installations feature the idea of the house as an intimate and private place, thus underlying the indivisible correspondence between her work and her life. Ever since her first exhibitions, the artist examined the boundaries between her house, her atelier, her exhibition space and, most importantly, her artworks.

    Being the only female member of the Arte Povera group, a movement that came to be in the second half of 1960s and the 1970s in Italy, she perfectly reflected its aims and purposes: deconstructing the normal perception of everyday values of society and involving non-traditional art materials such as copper, aluminium, waxed paper, paraffin, nylon and iron. All of her materials and processes refer to practices associated with women, such as weaving and cutting. Since the 1970s she has undergone an expansion of her style, between abstraction and figuration, introducing in her production expressionistic clay heads and sculptural installations.

    Having always challenged the status quo, Marisa Merz has created an art for contemporary times whose influence will be felt for years to come. After being finally recognized on the international stage, her influence as a contemporary icon has never been stronger, nor has the appetite for her signature works ever been greater.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £175,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £175,001 to £3,000,000 the Hammer Price
12.5% from £3,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalogue.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
AR Artists Resale Right

Goods subject to Artists Resale Right Additional Premium.

Contacts
  1. Amy Thompson
    Specialist - Contemporary Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 5864
Similar Items