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"Fragmente Bregenz 2003: Gerhard Merz"
2003-04-13 until 2003-06-22
Kunsthaus Bregenz
Bregenz, , AT

"Fragmente Bregenz 2003" will be the first comprehensive attempt by Gerhard Merz to show the instruments for painting, drawing, sculpture, light, and architecture developed early in his career since his theme-oriented solitary exhibitions of the eighties and nineties . Among this compilation of nearly 120 individual works from 1968 till 2003 are early photography, monochromes, text fragments, models, sculptures, neon light installations, glass and line works, drawings and lacquer painting on graph paper.

Gerhard Merz, born in 1947, studied painting at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts. Today he lives in Pescia near Lucca, Italy, and in Berlin; he teaches at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art.

Since the mid-seventies he has been developing a concept of painting in his art which is strongly influenced by architecturally oriented thought. Departing from the idea that modernism can only be set forth by means of architecture, Merz has for years been systematically investigating the strength of certain architectonic forms of expression, especially those of Mies van der Rohe’s. Besides his concern with the endeavors of modernism, his main reference points are the conceptual views and experiences of the art theory of the seventies and eighties. Here Merz assumes a view whose point of departure is the notion of art as an autonomous intellectual area. Thus, not only the extreme complexity of his references – notably Marcel Duchamp, Kasimir Malewitsch, Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt – but also the greatest possible formal clarity become his objectives in each of his works.

The singularity of his position and the high aesthetic quality of his works make him one of the most renowned and influential contemporary German artists. Throughout the world he has realized large projects in museum architecture and in public-space contexts, with recent examples being the pavilion at the old freight depot in Hannover in 2000 and "Fragment Grande Galerie I-XIV" in 2002 in the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf.

This exhibition will be a large-scale experimental arrangement of current productions in four work groups conceived for four rooms and displayed in the cold illumination of more than 3,000 neon lights and in an ideal figuration with the architectural context.

"Fragmente Bregenz 2003" shows in a complex, historically comprehensive, and unprecedented way the fruits of Gerhard Merz’ artistic experimentation in the light of his current refinement.

Gerhard Merz
Pavillon, 2000
Aluminiumprofile grau gestrichen, Floatglas,
Optiwhite, VSG, klares Glas,
Glasscheiben mit weißer Folie, Lichtbänder,
Lichtleisten,Leuchtmittel: Lumilux Daylight
3,58 x 42,59 x 18,31 m
Foto: Philipp Schönborn

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