Ohne Titel (Hartwig & Vogel) (Untitled [Hartwig & Vogel])

Kurt Schwitters

Hanover, Germany, 1887 - Ambleside, England, 1948
  • Series: 
    Merzzeichnung (Merz Drawing)
  • Date: 
  • Technique: 
    Collage on paperboard
  • Dimensions: 
    16,5 x 13,5 cm
  • Category: 
    Work on paper, Collage
  • Entry date: 
  • Register number: 

Kurt Schwitters began to use collage as a working method in 1918, after meeting Jean Arp. Expanding on the collage technique, he developed a constructive procedure that he called the Merz, a meaningless word that refers to a creative model invented by the artist and that played a major role in the development of Dadaism. This proposal was a type of "total art" which used a random combination of elements to become an object worthy of aesthetic contemplation.
Surpassing the traditional concept of collage, the Merz displayed a constructivist component that linked Schwitters to the Russian avant-garde. Papers, wood, etc., are nailed together, and the nails themselves thus become yet another expressive element, an essential part of a work in which the artist puts into practice his idea that "what counted was to construct something from the fragments." Schwitters did not consider this to be an anti-artistic attitude, but rather a reform in which artworks once again connected with society through the introduction of banal and insignificant items, such as found items and waste material: "One can use waste material to shout out loud."
In this work, as with most Merz, writing plays an essential role. The writing comes from the real objects with which the pieces are made, such as newspaper cuttings or, in this case, the package of some Hartwig & Vogel chocolate.

Ruth Gallego Fernández