Das Bild der guten Hoffnung is an exceptional Merz relief, forming part of Schwitter’s self-proclaimed, and subsequently accurate, late period. Comprising both found objects and figurative painting, the work contrasts organic nature and a constructed idealized form. The central elements of the white flag and painted egg, combined with the romanticised title The Picture of Good Hope, perhaps allude to Schwitters’ imploring hope that Nazism would fail and he would be allowed to return to Germany and his Merzbau in Hanover.
Schwitters engaged with the belief that equal importance of all materials in abstraction is the perfect means of expression. Best illustrated in his own words “Merz paintings are abstract works of art. The word Merz denotes essentially the combination of all conceivable materials for artistic purposes, and technically the principle of equal evaluation of the individual materials…. The artist creates through choice, distribution and metamorphosis of the materials” (Kurt Schwitters, cited in: Gwenda Webster, Kurt Merz Schwitters, Cardiff 1997, p. 53).
Throughout his career Schwitters’ solely focused on the perfection of Merz, returning to it continuously - "I can see from the work I am doing now, that in my old age I will be able to go on developing Merz. After my death it will be possible to distinguish 4 periods in my Merz works: The Sturm und Drang of the first works – in a sense revolutionary in the art world – then the dry, more scientific search for new possibilities and the laws of composition and materials, then the brilliant game with skills gained, that is to say the present stage, and ultimately the utilization of acquired strengths in the intensification of expression. I will have achieved that in around 10 years." (Kurt Schwitters, ‘Letter to Helma Schwitters’, 23 December 1939, cited in: Exh. Cat., London, Tate, Schwitters in Britain, 2013, p. 56).
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale