Grateful Ode to Merz

“When we look at (the work of) Schwitters, we must realize that it was made in a time with its own historical zeitgeist. The attitudes of the time, the philosophies, the hopes and the fears are impossible to duplicate today. We live in a different age, with three times the population, with technologies they could only dream about. So if one finds inspiration … it must manifest itself in the present. This has deep implications. The radical-ness, the surprise and sense of discovery, and the freshness that Schwitters was able to experience through his process is now a known part of history.”
—George Rodart

Four of my works have been acquired by the Ontological Museum in connection with the centennial of collage, 1912–2012. Collage artists worldwide owe a debt of gratitude to Cecil Touchon for his extraordinary labor on behalf of the medium. Working for years to establish this important institution, his efforts leading up to and during 2012 will be long considered one of the most significant developments (if not the most significant) during this milestone year. The centennial exhibition in Pagosa Springs opened last week. It features more than 400 works contributed to the museum’s permanent collection from artists living in 30+ countries and will be on view through May, 2013. This exceptional exhibition can be viewed online in its entirety.

No visual art form is more vital than collage on its one-hundredth birthday. Certainly there are antecedents in mosaic, the fabric arts, and various folk traditions, but historians have decided that either a Frenchman or a Spaniard first crossed a significant threshold a dozen years into the previous century. Some may continue to debate whether collage as a technique was “invented” by Georges Braque or Pablo Picasso, but in my considered view, the seminal genius of the medium was Kurt Schwitters, perhaps the first modern artist to fully master the process. I’m not alone in this opinion, and my conviction should be no surprise to anyone who has discovered this blog.
Grateful Ode to Merz ~ John Andrew Dixon

Grateful Ode to Merz
collage miniature on Bristol by J A Dixon
homage to Kurt Schwitters
collection of The Ontological Museum

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