The Artist Birthday Series

Kurt Schwitters

In many ways his work was more in tune with Zürich Dada’s championing of performance and abstract art than Berlin Dada’s agit-prop approach, and indeed examples of his work were published in the last Zürich Dada publication, Der Zeltweg, November 1919, alongside the work of Arp and Sophie Tauber. Whilst his work was far less political than key figures in Berlin Dada, he would remain close friends with various members, including Hannah Höch and Raoul Hausmann, for the rest of his career.

From left to right: Kurt Schwitters, Jean Arp, Max Burchartz, Mrs. Burchartz, Hans Richter, Nelly van Doesburg, Cornelius van Eesheren, Theo van Doesburg.
Dada reunion in Weimar, 1922: (left to right) Kurt Schwitters, Jean Arp, Max Burchartz, Lotte Burchartz, Hans Richter, Nelly van Doesburg, Cornelius van Eesheren, Theo Van Doesburg

As the political climate in Germany became more liberal and stable, Schwitters’ work became less influenced by Cubism and Expressionism. He started to organize and participate in lecture tours with other members of the international avant-garde, such as Hans Arp, Raoul Hausmann and Tristan Tzara, touring Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, and Germany with provocative evening recitals and lectures. He published a periodical, also called Merz, between 1923–32, in which each issue was devoted to a central theme.

Schwitters-Cover-of-Merz-1.-Holland-Dada-1923
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