OREDARIA Arti Contemporanee in Rome is proud to present a personal exhibition of Mario Merz (Milan, 1925-2003). This exhibition wishes to underline a fundamental aspect of Mario Merz’ artistic research: his special relationship with mathematics.

The exhibition, realized with the collaboration of the Fondazione Merz in Turin, will propose a selection of museum pieces and a series of designs, among which a totally unedited series that refer to the world of numbers and in particular to Fibonacci.

Halfway through the 1960’s Merz’ artistic research brings him to create his ‘volumetric pictures’ (Mila Pistoi). These are made of cloth that embodies objet trouvès, and organic or industrial materials. The advent of the use of these materials will contribute to Merz playing a leading role in the Arte Povera movement. The Igloo (1969) is described as “an ideal organic form (…) worldly, and at the same time a very small dwelling” an unconditioned space not moulded or shaped, but simply a “ hemisphere sitting on the ground” that the artist declares fit to live in. Another example is the Table (1973) ideally seen in a landscape environment. Both the Igloo (1969) and the Table (1973) are primary, archetypal structures that declare their aesthetic and socio-political origins and represent the definitive abandoning of the picture as a means of expression. In 1970 Merz’ interest turns to the Fibonacci numerical series. Here we have a progression of numbers where each number is the sum of the previous two (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc.). The numerical sequence conceived by the Pisa mathematician, Leonardo Fibonacci (1202), is interpreted by Merz as being emblematic of the dynamics of the natural process of growth in the organic world, and he installs the numbers in neon on his own works. Merz continues to develop the Fibonacci sequence creating a series of elements mostly natural, for instance, snail shells, branches, leaves, pine cones, horns, in a numerical transcription that begins at zero and expands to the infinite, geometrically representing a spiral with it’s dynamic circular thrust. Important exhibitions put on show pictorial works that assume bigger and bigger proportions. Rhinoceros, crocodiles, tigers, buffaloes, owls, and other ‘prehistoric’ and archetypal animals are depicted in their natural environment. Merz’ practice of design is given a prominent place in a series of big installations.

The artist exhibited at Carré d’Art –Musée d’Art Contemporain, Nimes (2000) and for the first time in Latin America with a personal exhibition at Fundacion Proa, Buenos Aires (2002). He participated to the exhibition Zero to Infinity: Arte Povera 1969-1972 (2001), the first anthology of Arte Povera in the United Kingdom at the Tate Modern (London) and the Walker Art Center (Minneappolis). On the 6th November, 2002, the Igloo Fountain was installed on a site at the Passante Ferroviario, Turin. Among the numerous awards he received, we would like to mention the Laurea Honoris Causa (Honorary Degree) from D.A.M.S. Bologna (2001) and the Praemium Imperiale of the Japan Art Association (2003).

On the 15th April, 2009, there will be an encounter held at the Oredaria Gallery to discuss the relationship between Art and Mathematics. Guest speakers will includeart historian Philippe Daverio, Michele Emmer, mathematician, Gianluca Bocchi, epistemologist and Giovanni Maria Accame, art critic. There will also be a screening of an interview with Mario Merz who discusses the theme in question.