In the early 1920s Kurt Schwitters, one of the leading Dada artists, became interested in the new Constructivist, abstract idioms. This new Soviet art, in particular that of El Lissitsky, in addition to Schwitters’ contact with members of the De Stijl Neo-plasticist group (whom he met during a period in Holland in 1923), are reflected in works such as the present Merzbild Kijkduin.
This Merz, an invented word that Schwitters gave to all his compositions, was created in Holland from objects found on the beach at Kijkduin. The element of chance intervenes to turn these random, throwaway objects into art and is used to break down artistic conventions. It establishes a dialogue with the artist’s desire to introduce the Constructivist aesthetic into a work in which flat planes and geometrical strips of colour prevail.