Jean Arp / Kurt Schwitters

7 Arpaden Merz 5 (published by Kurt Schwitters), 1923

portfolio of 7 lithographs

Hans Arp and Kurt Schwitters met in Berlin in 1918 and became major figures in Dada and Merz. In a letter from 1923, Arp and Taeuber-Arp captured the atmosphere of a holiday together on the island of Rügen, where the artists “poeted, merzed, and arped all day long.”

That same year, Schwitters published one of Arp’s most important series of prints as the fifth of his “Merz booklets.” For this “Arp portfolio,” titled 7 Arpaden, the artist created a set of lithographs. Its world of symbolic imagery is the product of Arp’s own Surrealism-influenced cosmos, in which he liberates objects and body parts from their accustomed contexts or turns them into hybrid beings.

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