milan’s pirelli HangarBicocca presents ‘igloos’, a show by italian artist mario merz (1925-2003) that aims to bring together his most iconic group of works: the igloos, dating from 1968 until the end of his life. hosted inside the navate and cubo spaces, visitors will be immersed in an installation that covers 30 large-scale works in the shape of an igloo: an unprecedented landscape of great visual impact.

mario merz igloos hangarbicocca designboom
mario merz, “igloos”, exhibition view at pirelli hangarbicocca, milan, 2018
courtesy pirelli hangarbicocca, milan
photo: renato ghiazza
© mario merz, by siae 2018

 

 

gathered from numerous private collections and international museums — including madrid’s reina sofia, london’s tate and berlin’s nationalgalerie — the exhibition curated by HangarBicocca’s vicente todolí provides an overview of merz’s work. overall, the show highlights how the artist developed his igloo imagery with coherence and vision and reveals innovative aspects and themes of his research. the different use of natural and industrial materials, together with the poetic and evocative deployment of the written word and relationship with its surrounding space inserted the works within the international contemporary artistic panorama.

mario merz igloos hangarbicocca designboom
mario merz, la goccia d’acqua, 1987
installation view at pirelli hangarbicocca, milan, 2018.
staatliche museen zu berlin, nationalgalerie
courtesy pirelli hangarbicocca, milan
photo: renato ghiazza
© mario merz, by siae 2018

 

 

vicente todolí said, ‘as its starting point, the exhibition ‘igloos’ takes mario merz’s solo show curated by harald szeemann in 1985 at the kunsthaus in zurich, where all the types of igloos produced up until that point were brought together to be arranged ‘as a village, a town, a ‘città irreale’ in the large exhibition hall,’ as szeemann states. our exhibition at pirelli hangarbicocca will be a once-in-a-generation opportunity to re-live that experience (but expanded from 17 to more than 30 igloos) created by one of the most important artists of the post-war generation.’

mario merz igloos hangarbicocca designboom
mario merz igloos, exhibition view at pirelli hangarbicocca, milan, 2018.
courtesy pirelli hangarbicocca, milan
photo: renato ghiazza
© mario merz, by siae 2018

 

 

through his work, the italian artist investigated and represented the processes of transformation of nature and human life. he used elements from the scientific-mathematical field, such as the spiral and the fibonacci sequence, and from 1968, he introduced what would remain one of the recurring and most representative motifs of his practice: the igloo.

mario merz igloos hangarbicocca designboom
mario merz igloos, exhibition view at pirelli hangarbicocca, milan, 2018.
courtesy pirelli hangarbicocca, milan
photo: renato ghiazza
© mario merz, by siae 2018

 

 

visually traceable to primordial habitations, the igloo’s became merz’s archetype of inhabited places and of the world, as well as a metaphor for the various relationships between interior and exterior, physical and conceptual, and individuality and collectivity. the delicate precariousness of the structures took a symbolic importance which the artist explained by saying that, ‘the igloo is a home, a temporary shelter. since I consider that ultimately, today, we live in a very temporary era, for me the sense of the temporary coincides with this name: igloo.’ — taken from in prima persona. pittori e scultori italiani: mario merz, giulio paolini, mimmo spadini, alighiero boetti” by antonia mulas, broadcast on rai tre on 12/25/1984.

 

the exhibition runs from october 25, 2018 to february 24, 2019.

mario merz igloos hangarbicocca designboom
noi giriamo intorno alle case o le case girano intorno a noi?, 1977 (reconstruction 1985)
installation view at pirelli hangarbicocca, milan, 2018.
tate
courtesy pirelli hangarbicocca, milan
photo: renato ghiazza
© mario merz, by siae 2018

mario merz igloos hangarbicocca designboom
mario merz igloos, exhibition view at pirelli hangarbicocca, milan, 2018.
courtesy pirelli hangarbicocca, milan
photo: renato ghiazza
© mario merz, by siae 2018

mario merz igloos hangarbicocca designboom
mario merz igloos, exhibition view at pirelli hangarbicocca, milan, 2018.
courtesy pirelli hangarbicocca, milan
photo: renato ghiazza
© mario merz, by siae 2018

mario merz igloos hangarbicocca designboom
mario merz, igloo del palacio de las alhajas, 1982
installation view at pirelli hangarbicocca, milano, 2018.
museo nacional centro de arte reina sofía, madrid
courtesy pirelli hangarbicocca, milan
photo: renato ghiazza
© mario merz, by siae 2018

mario merz igloos hangarbicocca designboom
igloos, exhibition view at pirelli hangarbicocca, milan, 2018.
courtesy pirelli hangarbicocca, milan
photo: renato ghiazza
© mario merz, by siae 2018

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