* 1925 Mailand
† 2003 Turin
Mario Merz was born in Milan in 1925. After his short study of medicine, he joined the anti-fascist movement "GIUSTIZIA E LIBERTA" (Justice and Freedom). Merz was imprisoned for a short time in 1945 because of his political engagement. After his release from prison he turned to art. Merz settled down in Torino where he initially made oil paintings in which from 1960 onwards he integrated informal spirals. Mario Merz turned away from informal art in 1966 in search of the alegory in things for the correlation between nature and culture. His famous light objects emerged from the combination of neon lamps and neon writings with ordinary things such as bottles and umbrellas. Because of these objects, Mario Merz became one of the main representatives of Arte Povera. The igloos which he created from 1968 and which were typical for him posed a form of the connection between inside and outside or of the salvaging and protecting element. One year later Fibonacci numbers appeared more and more in his works. Since 1977 Mario Merz connected his metaphors, the Fibonacci numbers and iconographic motives with gestical and color-intensive painting. Mario Merz died in Turin in 2003.