“Poet of the bus ticket”

The phrase of the day has to be this one, from a July 1968 edition of the art magazine Apollo (founded in 1925) which I found under a heap of books and papers and magazines in the studio today.

“The poet of the bus ticket” is used to describe Kurt Schwitters (1887–1948), the German artist who formed his own personal Merz movement in the 1920ies and is known for his unique works of collage – using among other things, bus tickets.

As some might know Schwitters is one of my all time favourite sources of inspiration, and preparing for my master’s degree (where Kurt was a primary case) I read quite a lot about him – but this is by far the most loving and precise description I’ve come across so far.

The words were written by Mahonri Sharp Young reviewing of the exhibition “Dada, Surrealism and Their Heritage” at MoMA, New York (27 March – 9 June, 1968), and a quick search in MoMA’s archives reveal that Schwitters had nine works on show at the exhibition.

Schwitters was never a ‘real’ Dada member, although he collaborated with many Dada artists, but called his personal movement “Merz” to distinguish it from other forms of Dada, as he “felt no embarassment about his delight in art”, as the original 1968 press material issued by MoMA put it.

Check out MoMA’s large collection of Schwitters’ works – both his paintings and collages as well as examples of his excellent typographic work at www.moma.org

Here’s a quick intro to Schwitters’ universe, from MoMA’s archives. Enjoy!