Schwitters’ original ‘Merzbau‘ is an icon of modernism and an early form of installation art. A kind of abstract, walk-in collage composed of grottoes, columns and found object; he constructed it inside his Hannover studio in the 1920 and 30s. Schwitters fled Nazi Germany in 1937, and the Merzbau was later destroyed in an Allied bombing raid. Less well known is the ‘Merz Barn’ that he began building near Elterwater in the Lake District. TateShots travelled there to explore the only surviving example of Schwitters’ Merz environments. Radio presenter Tom Ravenscroft picks up the story.
Schwitters in Brittain is at Tate Britain from 30 January – 12 May 2013