Oorlog (1930) by Kurt Schwitters

Oorlog - Kurt Schwitters - 1930

Artwork Information

ArtistKurt Schwitters
Dimensions31.2 x 23.5 cm
Art MovementDada
Current LocationCollection Donald B. Marron
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About Oorlog

Oorlog is a collage made of paper, printed paper, oil paint and graphite by the German artist Kurt Schwitters in 1930. It is signed and dated “Kurt Schwitters: 1930” lower left and titled “Oorlog” lower right of the artist’s paper mount paper collage on paper, laid on artist’s mount. The pasted-together fragments have been cut and torn from a variety of sources. In 1937 1938 it was sold at Christie’s New York for value $1,65 million, making it one of the most expensive works of artwork by Kurt Schwitters.

One year later in 1931, Kurt Schwitters created Neues Merzbild (New Merzpicture), which was another work created in his signature style– cutting fragments from magazines and newspapers to form collages. He used this technique to decipher personal dilemmas alongside socio-political issues. Neues Merzbild is composed mostly with monochrome rectangles signifying lines from literature and musical scores that he had rearranged or deconstructed. This art piece exemplifies how masterfully Schwitters was able to use pieces from previous artworks as well as scraps of everyday life to produce new compositions that offer both visual delight as well as political commentary.

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