Ten works by Marisa Merz exhibited together with the works of Rosa Barba, Elisabetta Benassi, Alighiero Boetti, Jim Isermann, Ketty La Rocca, Luisa Lambri, Claudia Losi, Mario Merz, Paola Pivi, Rosemarie Trockel, Kara Walker and Franz West.
Regarding Marisa Merz is the latest presentation of the MAXXI
Arte collection and represents a continuation of the exploration of the history of recent Italian art through a thematic reading of the museums permanent collection.
The protagonist of this re-interpretation is the outsider Marisa Merz, a key figure in Italian art, celebrated at Documenta at Kassel, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Tate Modern in London and a prize-winner at the Venice Biennale in 2001, whose artistic career remains crucial to an understanding of the developments within Italian art of recent years.
The focus of this new itinerary through the MAXXI Arte collection is an important work by the artist, recently acquired thanks to the contribution of the I live MAXXI group that brings together the museums donors. The installation Senza titolo from 2009/2010 combines all the materials that characterise her research: clay, copper and paper that together create a universe of female figures, reflected in a sheet of copper placed on the floor and on which is located a small clay head.
Set in the centre of the exhibition, this work is the point of departure for the various strands within the collection, a touchstone for the comprehension of the other works and the artists involved.
The works of Marisa Merz are direct emanations of a gestuality associated with the act of construction through individual and elementary actions: a connection emphasised on a number of occasions in her work as an act through which she manifests the ordinariness of the human seasons and the passage of time. The materials she uses speak of this intimacy but also of the process of weaving, of knotting, of embroidering that references an ancestral dimension of construction. This intimist character of the gesture is visible in many works by other exponents of the Arte Povera movement, but the presence of a strong feminine component has amplified the breadth of the work of an artist who has influenced the work of successive generations of her colleagues.
Regarding Marisa Merz recovers the light and at times imperceptible thread that binds their partially heterogeneous experiences through to the most recent works.