Cover image for Merz : in the beginning was Merz : from Kurt Schwitters to the present day
Merz : in the beginning was Merz : from Kurt Schwitters to the present day
Schwitters, Kurt, 1887-1948.
Uniform Title:
Aller Anfang ist Merz. English
Publication Information:
Ostfildern : Hatje Cantz, [2000]

Physical Description:
345 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 31 cm
General Note:
English-language edition of the catalogue published to accompany the exhibition held at Sprengel-Museum Hannover, Aug.20-Nov. 5, 2000; Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen Düsseldorf, Nov. 25, 2000-Feb. 18, 2001; Haus der Kunst München, Mar. 9-May 20, 2001.
Title Subject:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6888.S42 A4 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



This volume documents Kurt Schwitters and his profound influence on the generations of artists that followed him, including artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Joseph Beuys, Jessica Stockholder, and Laura Kikauta.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

In the opening essay of I Is Style, editor Fuchs, director of Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum, notes that Schwitters "has thus far been either relatively absent or been presented as a curious outsider. He was much more important than that." Both observations are true, but, one hopes, the two major exhibitions for which these catalogs were produced will help to raise his stature. I Is Style, accompanying a show seen in Amsterdam and Leipzig, mixes four essays on aspects of Schwitters's career with nine of his own short writings, six remembrances by his contemporaries, and more than 75 illustrations of his "merz" collages. Unfortunately, the essays are rather poorly translated and do not provide the sort of introduction to the artist and his diverse career one would expect from a retrospective catalog. And, though the bright and clear illustrations offer works from the full range of his collage output (1918-47), one wishes for some examples of his painting, sculpture, installations, and typographic works. However, Schwitters's poems and two-page autobiography (1926) and the recollections of friends are wonderful resources, which even those new to the artist will appreciate. The Sprengel Museum in Hanover, Schwitters's beloved home until he fled the Nazis, has put together a show that is both more comprehensive and more focused. The curators/editors set out to demonstrate the artist's continuing influence on many strands of contemporary art by presenting large-format illustrations of 230 works in all media by Schwitters as well as 80 more pieces by 32 other artists. The parallels between Schwitters and Louise Nevelson, Cy Twombly, Nam June Paik, Joseph Beuys, and other artists are sometimes subtle and sometimes striking but always thought-provoking. The ten short essays offer both biographical overview and investigations of his legacy to movements such as pop art, action art, installation art, and sound poetry. I Is Style belongs in university collections serving art history departments; In the Beginning Was Merz is highly recommended for all public and academic libraries that collect books on 20th-century art. Eric Bryant, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.