14 rooms in Materials and Objects
Tate Modern is currently closed
See the diverse and inventive approaches to materials explored by artists in this display
Marisa Merz’s work explores the close relationship between art and everyday life. She often used traditional techniques associated with domestic labour, such as knitting. In 1968, she began to knit nylon or copper threads into simple geometric shapes. This combined industrial materials with a delicate, hand-made process. Merz sometimes placed these knitted works outdoors, where they resembled plants or other living creatures. Some pieces, such as Untitled (Little Shoe) 1968, were made to be worn, becoming an extension of the artist’s body.
Nairy Baghramian’s sculptures include industrial materials with sleek finishes, paired with elements with a more organic appearance. Casting, carving and fastening are her main processes. In Scruff of the Neck 2016, the compositions are abstract. They also hint at parts of the human body, and contraptions like braces used to straighten teeth. The resulting combinations seem both mysterious and familiar.
Curated by Mark Godfrey and Valentina Ravaglia
The Tate 100 Gallery