“Mario Merz: Time Is Mute”

“Featuring forty-five mixed-medium paintings, sculptures, and installations the artist made between 1952 and 1998, ’Mario Merz: Time Is Mute’ underscores his critique of capitalism and consumer culture, as well as his hope for a better society.”

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, October 10, 2019–March 29, 2020.

A member of Arte Povera, a group of Italian artists who used “poor” materials to help break down the separation of art and daily life, Mario Merz (1925–2003) explored the transmission of energy from the organic to the inorganic in his freestanding igloo structures and arrangements of neon lights with found objects. Featuring forty-five mixed-medium paintings, sculptures, and installations the artist made between 1952 and 1998, “Mario Merz: Time Is Mute” underscores his critique of capitalism and consumer culture, as well as his hope for a better society. Works on view include Igloo di Giap (1968) and Igloo (Tenda di Gheddafi), 1968–81, from the “Igloo” series; Fibonacci Napoli (Fabbrica a San Giovanni a Teduccio), 1971, from the “Fibonacci” series; and Che fare? (1968–73), among other neon pieces. A selection of Merz’s sketches, poems, and artist’s books accompanies.

Mario Merz: Untitled, 1973, ink and marker on paper, 13 by 93/8 inches. Merz Collection, Turin. Image courtesy of Fondazione Merz, Turin. Copyright © Mario Merz by SIAE, VEGAP, Madrid, 2019.