Gallery Diary - Croy Nielsen | Albert Mertz


Die aktuelle Situation bedeutet eine enorme Belastung für die Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft und auch für uns als Kunstmagazin. In dieser Zeit wollen wir unseren Beitrag leisten und geben Ihnen täglich Einblicke in die Ausstellungen der Galerien.

Gallery Croy Nielsen presents a selection of works by Albert Mertz (1920 – 1990) on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Part of the exhibition features works created during the time Mertz resided in Savigny-sur-Orge, a Parisian suburb, from the early 1960ies until 1976. The walls of his flat were brown from the smoke of innumerable Gauloises, and when Lone Mertz first visited in 1975, she was overwhelmed by the largest wall of the living room, filled from floor to ceiling with an enormous collage.

Albert Mertz, Untitled, 1987, Gouache on paper, 29.7 × 42 cm, framed:: 36.2 × 48.5 cm Photo: Joachim Schulz

The five works from the series r/​b on board (1970ies) stem from this period and are all painted on the back board of used drawing blocks. Some of them are reversible. Mertz would use whatever came at hand as the basis of his compositions: even his Gauloises cigarette wrappers were painted red and blue. When using more traditional image carriers, these would often become the very subject of Mertz’ structural investigations: Untitled (1974) features six small canvases in red and blue, partially or completely deconstructed: here a corner is missing, there the whole surface (canvas) has been cut-out and the paint transferred directly to the strecher bars.

The exhibition also includes one of the print sheets for Mertz’ La Maison Rouge + Bleu: a book printed at Atelier Clot in Paris in 1973. The house remained one of Mertz’ favourite motives and can also be found in several works from the 1980ies such as Untitled (four houses falling) or Untitled (windows) (both 1984).

Albert Mertz, installation view Croy Nielsen, Vienna, 2020 Photo:

Albert Mertz (1920 – 1990) had his exhibition debut only thirteen years old in 1933 and started at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1936. Several years later he became a teaching professor at the same institution from 1979 until his death in 1990. Mertz is recognized for his art critics, his experimental films and in his work as a painter. He was co-founder of the Linien II in 1947, and represented Denmark posthumously at the 21st Sao Paulo Biennale, Brazil in 1991. Albert Mertz is represented in all major Danish art museums, in Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden, The National Gallery, Oslo Norway and in major collections such as Daimler Art Collection in Berlin.


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