Invented by the German painter Kurt Schwitters in 1919, this term seems to derive from a part of the word kommerziell, torn from a newspaper, which appeared glued in one of his first Merzbilder or collages. From 1923 to 1932 Schwitters published a magazine under the name Merz, with the co-operation of Arp, Lissitzky, Mondrian, Van Doesburg, and many others. Nothing could better describe what Schwitters meant by Merz than the definition of the word nature that he copied from a German dictionary, to have it printed in large red letters on the cover of an issue of his magazine ( AprilJuly, 1924): 'Nature, from the Latin nasci, means to become, to come from; that is to say, all that through its own force develops, forms and moves'. The same issue further reads: 'The modern world is the other half of nature, the half that comes from man'. Thus Schwitters took all the cast-off things of everyday life and made them into abstract works, which had no other purpose than to continue Nature through man, but which are moving in their humility, in all the human delicacy they contain and unknowingly communicate. Schwitters' collages and compositions ( Merzbilder or Merz-Pictures) are among the most curious and rare productions of the Dada movement.

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