Bringing together works from the late 1950s until the mid-1980s, the exhibition includes Dia’s recent acquisitions “Teatro cavallo” (Horse Theater, 1967) and “Tavola spirale” (Spiral Table, 1982) alongside historical loans from collections in the US and Fondazione Merz in Turin, Italy. Using recycled organic and industrial materials, the artist developed a highly imaginative iconography and recast familiar forms like the igloo and the table in installations that envision the interdependency of individuals, society, and the natural environment. The featured works revisit Merz’s signature motifs, distinctive use of neon, and deployment of the Fibonacci sequence—where each number equals the sum of the two that precede it—for the structure of his installations. This is the artist’s first solo institutional presentation in the United States since 1989.
“This survey brings together the threads that run through Mario Merz’s influential practice—from his use of neon as a disruptive energy, to his employment of the Fibonacci sequence, to his resolute embrace of found materials,” said Jessica Morgan, Dia’s Nathalie de Gunzburg Director. “I am delighted that we are able to put our new acquisitions on view as part of this exhibition. By placing these important works alongside those made by artists working within Mono-ha, Minimal, and Postminimal practices, we are able to allow for a more international and expansive approach that enriches audiences’ understanding of these movements.”