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Gerhard Merz

Gerhard Merz

*  1947 Mammendorf bei München

Gerhard Merz's early expressive works were influenced by Francis Bacon. During his studies at the Munich Academy of Art from 1969 to 1973, Merz began to tackle suprematist and constructivist positions with his metal sculptures and monochrome works. Moreover, his works should be considered with regard to the conceptual tendencies of the 1970s and 80s. Around about 1980, he developed script paintings and silk-screen prints based on photographs in combination with monochrome pictures and murals. From 1984 Merz created local paintings, for which he designed the exhibition room walls with monochrome mineral colours. In 1986 installations Merz united aspects of writing, colour, and architecture and in this manner reflected history of art and the forms of presentation in the art business. An important example is the installation ‚Sieg der Sonne 1987' at the documenta 8. From 1988 to 1994 Merz achieved a synthesis of painting and architecture in his 'Archipittura', with the surface remaining the characteristic pictorial element. The first programmatic work was ‚ED IO ANCHE SON' from 1988. Merz refered in his installations to the buildings by Mies van der Rohe and reflected the work of artists like Marcel Duchamp, Kasimir Malewitsch or Barnett Newman. Another trademark of his works is his aspiration to utmost formal clarity. Highlights of his exhibition activities are his 1992 participation in the documenta as well as the joint presentation with Katharina Sieverding at the German pavilion of the 1997 Venice Biennale. Merz presented a cube without windows with a frieze of neon tubes. In 1991, he is appointed to a professorship at the academy of arts in Düsseldorf. Since 2004, Merz is teaching at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich.