Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 41 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Johnny Depp Freaked Out Black Mass Director's Kid Doing Jack Sparrow's Voice in Full Whitey Bulger Makeup
- Read the Cover Story: Adele’s Triumphant Return: How Love Changed Her Life
- Determined Bono Says Nothing Will Stop U2 From Performing in Paris
- Kyle Richards on Yolanda Foster's Divorce From Husband David: 'They've Been Struggling'
- Kobe Bryant Opens Up About His Decision to Retire: 'I'm Not Obsessively Thinking About the Game Anymore'
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- November 20, 1989
- Vol. 32
- No. 21
Italian Artist Mario Merz Turns a Museum into a Dream
The man who put this gallimaufry together, with 20 aides over a month's time, stands on the ramp, gazing downward. "This," says Mario Merz, "is important."
At 64, Merz is one of Italy's most esteemed artists, and the retrospective at New York City's Guggenheim Museum is his greatest accolade: The show, running till Nov. 26, makes him the first artist to fill the 30-year-old museum top to bottom with his works. "Merz has helped forge a new vocabulary—neon, glass, stone," says Thomas Krens, the Guggenheim's newly appointed director, but precisely what the vocabulary means is tough to say. "Is so strange, this kind of work," Merz admits. "Is not easy to understand. Is something very complex, like a dream."
Born in Turin, where his father designed engines for Fiat and his mother taught piano, Merz quit med school for art and in 1945 was arrested for distributing anti-Fascist literature. "Was necessary to draw in prison for pass the time," he says. "I draw on the very little small piece of paper [in which] my mother send me il formaggio, the cheese." After the war he began experimenting, using sprays, industrial enamels and neon. He was entranced by mixing materials to show "natural light and industrial light in same work, or history and the future."
Merz and his artist-wife, Marisa, share a Turin studio, and he still cares deeply about his impact on the world beyond its walls. "When people look freely," he says, contemplating a rubbery igloo, "maybe this work helps them to see in a new way."
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!