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Mario Merz: Between Maths, Geometry and Art

Mario Merz standing in front of one of his installations, courtesy of the net

Artist biography

Mario Merz (1 January 1925 – 9 November 2003) was an Italian conceptual and eclectic artist, considered to be a key member of the art movement Arte Povera.

Merz was a self-taught artist, and after going through an expressionist period, he decided to research and experiment with l’Arte Povera, roughly translated as poor art. In this style, he preferred working with materials such as earth, shrubs, wax, and fluorescent neon tubes, and he favored the procedural aspects of his artistic operations.

Since 1967, besides working with the constant motif of igloo-shaped constructions, he worked on and presented installations inspired by the Fibonacci Sequence, whose numerical progression is viewed by Merz as a universal principle of life enhancement.

Mario Merz. Igloos. Installation at the Pirelli Hangar-Bicocca, Milano 2018,

His Neon Fibonacci series wes placed along the spiral of the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1971, in the Mole Antonelliana in Turin (1984), and at the Castello di Rivoli in Turin (1990). At the end of the seventies, Merz disassociated from the Arte Povera movement and returned to figurative art, outlining large images of archaic animals, which he defined as prehistoric, on large canvases without a frame. Over the years, many exhibitions have been dedicated to Merz by major museums in the world, and in 2005, a foundation named after him was established in Turin, with the aim of protecting and promoting his artistic heritage through initiatives involving contemporary art and culture.

​Example of one of Merz’s Fibonacci Sequence pieces, on the ground floor of Forte di Belvedere’s Palazzina.

Auctions results

According to the website, as of September 2020, the turnover of Mario Merz’s artwork is worth $252,573. The oldest auction result ever registered on the website for an artwork by this artist is a watercolor-drawing sold in 1986 at Christie's, and the most recent auction result is a painting sold in 2020.

The main artworks currently sold at auctions consist of paintings, multiple prints, sculptures, photography, watercolor-drawings, and furniture.

Upcoming public auctions

A piece by Mario MERZ (1925-2003) will soon be available in a closed auction in De Vuyst on 26th of September 2020 (Kerkstraat 22-54, 9160 Lokeren, Belgium).

The piece is an oil, spray, pastel/toile and it’s estimated for sell between $40.000 and $50.000.


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