Kurt Schwitters

Germany / 1887 - 1948 / wikipedia / tmlarts.com
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"You carry your own joy with you wherever you go.” Kurt Schwitters


Kurt Hermann Eduard Karl Julius Schwitters (20 June 1887 – 8 Jan. 1948); German artist who worked in several genres and media, including Dada, Constructivism, Surrealism, poetry, sound, painting, sculpture, graphic design, typography, and what came to be known as installation art. He is most famous for his collages, called Merz Pictures.

[Following are excerpts from an extensive biography with photos at http://tmlarts.com/tag/tmlipp/page/18/ & Wikipedia. ]

....In 1918, his art was to change dramatically as a direct consequence of Germany’s economic, political, and military collapse at the end of the First World War. “In the war, things were in terrible turmoil. What I had learned at the academy was of no use to me and the useful new ideas were still unready…. Everything had broken down and new things had to be made out of the fragments; and this is Merz. It was like a revolution within me, not as it was, but as it should have been.”

....officially an ‘enemy alien’, he was moved between various internment camps in Scotland and England before arriving on 17 July 1940 in Hutchinson Camp in the Isle of Man.

....He was soon provided studio space and took on students, many of whom would later become significant artists in their own right. He produced over 200 works during his internment, including more portraits than at any other time in his career, many of which he charged for. He contributed at least 2 portraits to the second art exhibition within the camp in November 1940....

...Schwitters was well-liked in the camp and was a welcome distraction from the internment they were suffering. Fellow internees would later recall fondly his curious habits of sleeping under his bed and barking like a dog, as well as his regular Dadaist readings and performances.

....Many artists have cited Schwitters as a major influence, including Ed Ruscha, Robert Rauschenberg, Damien Hirst, and many, many others.
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Pedro dos Reis

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