Merz Picture 25A The Star Picture (1920) by Kurt Schwitters

Merz Picture 25A The Star Picture - Kurt Schwitters - 1920

Artwork Information

TitleMerz Picture 25A The Star Picture
ArtistKurt Schwitters
Dimensions104.5 x 79 cm
Art MovementDada
Current LocationKunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany

About Merz Picture 25A The Star Picture

“Merz Picture 25A The Star Picture” is an abstract artwork by Kurt Schwitters, created in 1920. This piece is executed in mixed media, using collage, oil, and cardboard, and is an exemplar of the Dada movement. The artwork measures 104.5 by 79 cm and is currently housed in the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, located in Düsseldorf, Germany.

The artwork presents a complex array of materials and textures that converge in an intricate collage. At first glance, one observes the juxtaposition of various elements, such as bits of newspapers, tickets, and other ephemera, on a layered backdrop where oil paint is applied. The color palette appears predominantly dark with interspersed areas of brighter color, contributing to a sense of depth and dimensionality. The piece is characterized by a dynamic composition, with angular and curvilinear forms that create a sense of movement within the picture plane.

Throughout the collage, the German text fragments and typographic elements suggest cultural and societal references, perhaps reflecting the chaotic social landscape of the post-World War I era and aligning with the Dadaists’ penchant for commentary through disarray. The inclusion of a patch of mesh material adds a tactile dimension that interacts with the visual complexity. Schwitters’ work is emblematic of a period marked by innovation in art, whereby traditional notions of beauty and order were subverted in favor of new modes of representation that emphasized the absurdity and unpredictability of contemporary life.

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