Galerie Gmurzynska is an international art gallery with locations in Zurich, Zug and St. Moritz, Switzerland, that specializes in modern and contemporary art as well as Russian avant-garde. Let’s draw our attention towards the gallery located in the heart of Zurich for now. You won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to visit their current show, it’s absolutely wonderful in every way.
Galerie Gmurzynska currently presents the exhibiton “Kurt Schwitters: Merz”. Born in Hanover, Germany in 1887, Kurt Schwitters had a long and varied career, working in visual art, graphic design and poetry. Schwitters was affiliated with several avant-garde movements including Der Sturm, De Stijl and Dada.
The Dada movement originated in 1916, more specifically at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. Since Galerie Gmurzynska, Zurich is in the same building complex that once housed the famous Galerie Dada run by artists Tristan Tzara and Hugo Ball, and with Zurich celebrating 100 years of DADA this year, this retrospective is both overdue and extremely timely. The exhibition is realized in curatorial collaboration with Adrian Notz, the director of Cabaret Voltaire, which is one of the main locations of this year’s centennial festivities. Adrian Notz created sections devoted to archival documents covering Schwitters’s important ventures of various branches of art.
It was Kurt Schwitters’s desire and aim to embrace all kinds of art like collage, poetry, graphic design and sculpture in a unity. By blending these different branches to a ‘total work of art’ he created MERZ. His art style stands for freedom from all disciplinary boundaries, for the sake of artistic creation. The word Merz comes from a fragment of print used in one of his collaged “Merzbild” or Merz pictures: part of the word “Commerzbank” (Commerce Bank), it reflected the ability of collage to create new meanings as things are removed from their original context. Schwitters applied the idea of collage to everything he did, including poetry and musical composition. In the case of his constructions or “Merzbauten” he applied it to his entire living environment.
Kurt Schwitter had a large impact on a whole range of artistic generations succeeding him and significantly influenced names like David Bowie or Damien Hirst – just to name a few. The renowned curator Norman Rosenthal even goes as far as to say, that there is no artist working today that has not been influenced by Kurt Schwitters.
The spectacle at the Galerie Gmurzynska, Zurich is a major retrospective that builds and expands on the gallery’s five decade long exhibition history with the outstanding artist, bringing together a unique selection of seventy works across all media. These include key works of each period, some of which have been especially loaned from significant collections.
It’s exhibited in a fully transformed gallery space designed by the Pritzker Prize winning architect Zaha Hadid. This collaboration results from the idea of an architectural homage by Zaha Hadid to the famous “Merz Bau” of Kurt Schwitters. Having successfully realized a similar project seven years ago, where Hadid transformed Galerie Gmurzynska, Zurich into a space in reference to Kasimir Malevich’s suprematism, this collaborative project pays tribute to the second important artistic influence on Hadid’s work – Kurt Schwitters.
As an extension of the Schwitters’ retrospective in Zurich, Galerie Gmurzynska‘s presentation at this week’s Art Basel has a major focus on two substantial modern masters of 20th century art – Kurt Schwitters and Joan Miró. In the background of a part of the booth G3 a reproduction of the Zaha Hadid designed exhibition space in Zurich is juxtaposed with important works by Kurt Schwitters.