Mario Merz - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Friday, October 12, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Sperone Westwater, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    A member of the Arte Povera Group, Merz’s work revolves around the tension between the organic and the man-made. Since the 1960s, he had been working with natural materials, such as stone, wood, earth and fruit combining them with industrial materials, like neon, glass and cement. His works would result in organic installations that composed archetypical shapes like the spiral.
    In the 1970s, Merz began researching the Fibonacci sequence - a series of numbers derived from the sum of the two previous numbers, which created a law dictating the exponential growth. The sequence can be found in spiraled structures as varied as plants in the organic world to snails, seashells, animal horns, as well as in the human body. Merz used the numerical series to create spirals in his works, referring to the continuous cycle and structure of biological life.

    "The spiral is slow and full of humors like a fruit, expressing the rising of matter over itself...the cochlea expresses the primordial form, the comma is the breath that says we must breathe to write, we must breathe to draw."
    (F. Pasini, translated by M. Shore, ‘Museo Comunale D’Arte Moderna’, in Artforum, Vol. 29, No. 4, December 1990, pp. 151-152)



Charcoal, gouache and snail shell on paper.
69 x 44 5/8 in. (175.3 x 113.3 cm).

£30,000 - 40,000 

Sold for £48,000

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Evening Sale
13 October 2007, 4pm