Kurt Schwitters (1887 - 1948)
Schwitters, who was a painter, poet, spatial artist and commercial artist, created with MERZ his Dadaist global view of the world. Schwitters used the term MERZ to describe his artistic work, whether it was collages, paintings, poems, objects or drawings.
Schwitters' works are also influenced by Constructivism and Surrealism. From today's perspective, Schwitters is one of the most influential artists of the early 20th century.
Kurt Schwitters was born on 20 June 1887 in Hanover. He studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule Hannover and the Königlich Sächsische Akademie der Künste in Dresden. During the First World War he was obliged to work as a draughtsman in an ironworks due to his frail health.
His success, also literary, as an artist began at the end of the war. Schwitters cooperated with other artists such as Hans Arp or Hannah Höch, published his own MERZ series and founded the artists' association "die abstrakten hannover".
Defamed as "entartet" by the National Socialists, he emigrated to Norway in January 1937. After the occupation of Norway he fled to England in 1940, where he was housed in several internment camps until 1941.
From 1945 Schwitters lived in Northern England, where he increasingly had to struggle with health problems and died on 8 January 1948 in the hospital of Kendal.