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Schwitters, Kurt Herman Edward Karl Julius

Schwitters, Kurt Herman Edward Karl Julius (1887–1948). German artist. In 1917 he made collages from detritus collected from dumps and streets which he called Merz (Cast-Off). He then created Merzbau (Cast-Off Building) which virtually took over his entire dwelling in Hanover (1923–32—destroyed). The Merzbau was wholly unfunctional, and was really an essay in which Expressionism, De Stijl, and Constructivism merged: it, in turn (from pictures and descriptions), seems to have exercised a powerful influence on the work of several late-C20 and early-C21 architects. He built a Merz mural in Ambleside, English Lake District (1947–8), later moved to King's College, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Bibliography

BaLa (1987);
Chilvers, Osborne, & Farr (eds.) (1988);
Gumard (2000);
Schmalenbach (1970);
Steinitz (1968)

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