Construction for Noble Ladies is one of the largest and most important of Schwitters’s Merz pictures. It was constructed in 1919, a period of intense creative energy and experimentation in German society, which was being remade from top to bottom following wartime defeat, the fall of the monarchy, revolution, and ongoing rampant inflation. The assortment of everyday detritus within the work includes a funnel, a broken carriage wheel, a flattened toy train, and a ticket for shipping a bicycle by rail. The picture’s “noble lady” has been tipped over, her profile visible on the lower right, gazing upward.
Wall label, 2021.
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