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Kurt Schwitters

Kurt Hermann Eduard Karl Julius Schwitters (1887 –  1948) was a German artist painter, sculptor, graphic designer, typographer and writer. He worked in several genres and media, including Dada, Constructivism, Surrealism, poetry, sound, and what came to be known as installation art. He is most famous for his collages, called Merz Pictures.

Studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Hanover 1908-9 and at Dresden Academy 1909-14.

Influenced by Expressionism and Cubism 1917-18.

In 1918 created his own form of Dada in Hanover called ‘Merz’, using rubbish materials such as labels, bus tickets and bits of broken wood in his collages and constructions. Friendship with Arp, Hausmann and van Doesburg. Published the first edition of Anna Blume (a collection of poems and prose pieces) in 1919 and the magazine Merz 1923-32. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Der Sturm, Berlin, 1920. Began in 1923 to build fantastic Merz constructions in his house in Hanover (the first ‘Merzbau’).

Spent the summers in Norway from 1931 and emigrated in 1937 to Lysaker near Oslo. Fled to England in 1940, spent seventeen months in internment camps, then lived 1941-5 in London. Moved in 1945 to Ambleside in the Lake District. In the last months of his life, he began a further Merz construction in an old barn at Langdale. Died at Kendal.

See Wikipedia article

Colour and Collage

Ursonate Sound Poem

recited by Schwitters himself

with typography animations