Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The Merz Barn

A team of Cumbrian farmers using dry stone wall techniques have build a replica of this "hovel" in the courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts in London (title link). German Kurt Schwitters intended to convert his hovel - The Merz Barn in Elterwater, Cumbria - into a modernist grotto with zig-zag walls, an angled false ceiling and a slanted column. He finished one wall before dying. The finished wall ended up in the Hatton Gallery, Newcastle. So why bother to build a replica of his hovel at the RA? Answer: the Brit. Anti-art Establishment believes he made a significant contribution to Modern British Sculpture (CLICK). Sounds like he deserves censure, not a memorial. Given sumptuous planting, the Merz Barn might have been a gold-medal winner at the Chelsea Flower Show. As it is, forget it.


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