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Merzbarn

Another post from the Lake District, this time from Langdale. I visited the site of Kurt Schwitters’ last Merzbau which is going to be restored through the Merzbarn project. Thinking about Grizedale (see previous post) and how they are working to integrate into the local landscape, I am struggling to understand the relevance of Schwitters to the Lakes. Fleeing Nazi persecution he ended up in Ambleside for a couple of years after the war, dying there in 1948. His Merzbarn work is as if parachuted in from another time and place. But the portraits and landscapes that he painted locally in order to make a meagre living, they are something else, a place where Schwitters and the Lakes have something in common.

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