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Difficult

© Estate of Kurt Schwitters / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Germany

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Kurt Schwitters / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Germany

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Kurt Schwitters

German, 1887-1948

Difficult, 1942-1943

collage

sheet: 31 1/4 x 24 inches (79.37 x 60.96 cm); framed: 37 3/4 x 30 3/4 x 2 inches (95.88 x 78.1 x 5.08 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of The Seymour H. Knox Foundation, Inc., 1965

1965:14

More Details

Inscriptions

no inscriptions

Provenance

estate of the artist;
Marlborough Gallery, New York;
sold to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, June 25, 1965

Class

Collages (visual works)

Work Type

Collage (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

Influenced by Cubism, in 1918 Kurt Schwitters began making collages in a style he called “Merzbilder” (or “Merzpictures”). The term “Merz” comes from the German phrase “Kommerz und Privatbank,” which the artist found on a scrap of newsprint. Collages like Difficult were born out of poverty in post–World War I (1914–18) Germany; Schwitters literally created his art out of the physical ruins of the culture. “I felt myself freed [from the war] and had to shout my jubilation out to the world,” he recalled. “Out of Parsimony [frugality] I took whatever I found to do this, because we’re now a poor country.”

Label from Picasso: The Artist and His Models, November 5, 2016–February 19, 2017

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