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Merz originally installed Cone with a pot of boiling beans inside. The sculpture concealed a source of energy, but steam rising from its funnelled top indicated that something was within. Proportioned in relation to the body, Cone also suggests a hiding place for a single person. This is one of a number of wicker works that Mario Merz had made by craftsmen in 1967. Like other materials employed in Arte Povera sculptures, wicker had few associations with fine art and instead suggested practical everyday objects.

April 2009