“Our every city is unreal and suspended in the void”.
This exhibition inaugurates the new spaces designed to house temporary exhibitions at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, marking the first occasion on which they will open their doors to the public.
It is the first exhibition of Merz‘s work to be held in any public institution in Italy since the artist’s death and since the major retrospective of his work organised in 2005 by Castello di Rivoli, GAM and the Merz Foundation (Turin).
“Città Irreale” [Unreal City] pays tribute to the work of Mario Merz, one of the most important figures of the international art scene of the late twentieth century.
The exhibition has a particular focus on exploring the issue of space in relation to Merz’s artistic research, as it has developed over time: from individual everyday objects to the dimensions of the space one inhabits and so to the idea of habitats, from our collective and urban space up to space on a cosmic and cosmological scale. The individual perspective expands and broadens out in his work to become a collective one, both natural and artificial, and Merz’s works become a symbol of the negotiation [constantly in play] between our living experience and our natural and architectural context. The works on display reveal an ethical and poetic tension, suggesting the idea of a shared and participatory society in which the balance between nature and culture, tradition and innovation, finds its synthesis in the energy of these constantly clashing elements.
The exhibition is laid out chronologically so as to guide the visitor through the development of the artist’s poetic vision, starting from his first explorations of object and architecture and moving through his ventures deep into graphic creation to culminate in his large scale environmental installations.