The Fondazione Merz, founded on April 2005, holds the collection of works by Mario Merz, a heritage of inestimable historic worth, with the aim of conserving and safeguarding it and making it accessible and comprehensible to the public; moreover supports the research on contemporary art and promotes cultural initiatives.
Presided over by Willy Merz, the Fondazione makes use of the collaboration of a scientific committee comprising Vicente Todolí (past Director of the Tate Modern, London), Dieter Schwarz (Director of the Kunstmuseum, Winterthur) and Richard Flood (Director of Special Projects & Curator at Large of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York).
The Fondazione’s site, a former heating plant for the Lancia factory, is a 1930s industrial building owned by the Città di Torino and given in concession to the Fondazione Merz. It is located in Borgo San Paolo, an area now undergoing the urban and cultural revitalisation and refurbishment affecting much of Turin in recent years.
The refurbishment and restoration, supported by both private and public funds (City of Torino and Region Piemonte), has affected the whole building, defining the interior spaces and taking into account the cultural purposes the Fondazione intends pursuing. The building has an overall area of 3,200 mq, of which 1,400 for an exhibition area over three floors and including an external area.
The collection’s shows come from the importance that the location and its intense memory hold when taking in the works and interacting with them. The works slot into the interior and exterior spaces, holding a dialogue with the structure and imparting the immediate sensation of forming a veritable “landscape”, whilst respecting the artist’s poetry. “The home is a relationship between space and time. Time is the creator and destroyer of space. Space is not independent and static. Space is controlled by time” (Mario Merz).
The collection’s shows alternate with temporary exhibition projects by artists invited to hold a dialogue with and compare themselves with the space and works of Mario Merz.
The Fondazione also hosts a series of educational events and activities becoming a meeting place where other disciplines associated with contemporary culture can be introduced, but above all so as to form a point of reference and investigation of art, through the Merz Archive, the publications and a specialized library.