(Mai 191) (c. 1919) by Kurt Schwitters

(Mai 191) - Kurt Schwitters - c.1919

Artwork Information

Title(Mai 191)
ArtistKurt Schwitters
Dimensions21.6 x 17.1 cm
Art MovementDada
Current LocationMarlborough Fine Art, London
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About (Mai 191)

Kurt Schwitters was a German Dada artist best known for his legendary piece Mai 191, which he created in 1919. This collage is a combination of cut and torn papers, cellophane, tempera, nails, fabric, ink, and graphite that are mounted to illustration boards and fiber boards. Schwitters experimented extensively with found materials in his artwork and sought to create art out of everyday objects. His works serve as an example of what was possible when an artist pushed the boundaries of traditional mediums and explored the possibilities of combining disparate materials.

Mai 191 demonstrates Schwitter’s creative genius and serves as a testament to the impact prolific experimentation can have on the success of artwork. His unique combinations elicit new interpretations from viewers, making this piece so captivating; one cannot help but be in awe of the sheer number of visual components at work here. One must also admire his bold choice to push artistic boundaries and embrace a completely new style that was present nowhere else before.

Schwitters undoubtedly made a lasting impression with Mai 191. It inspired many other artists including himself; he went on to create Difficult – another exquisite collage created in 1942–43 with similar outlandish components as Mai 191. Keeping this in mind one must respect the immense artistic brilliance required for Self-Schwitters achieve such a remarkable feat like this twice!

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