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Published on May 17, 2013
Schwitters applied the term Merz throughout his career and to every aspect of his work. In the early 1920s he began building an abstract sculptural interior environment, which he later called the Merzbau. It came to occupy multiple rooms in the Schwitters's Hannover home. "I am building an abstract (Cubist) sculpture into which people can go . . . I am building a composition without boundaries; each individual part is at the same time a frame for the neighboring parts, (and) all parts are mutually interdependent." Under investigation by the Gestapo, Schwitters fled Germany in 1937, emigrating first to Norway and later to England; he worked on re-creations and new versions of Merzbau in both locations, aided by photographs of the original Hannover Merzbau. It is these photographs that have informed the reconstruction included in this exhibition.