The Venaria Reale celebrates its 14 years of opening to the public by enhancing and enriching its collection of contemporary art, hosting Mario Merz's Igloo at the Fontana del Cervo in the Court of Honor, in collaboration with the Merz Foundation.
The work Untitled from 1998 is strongly linked to the environment of the Palace and the context of the Fountain due to the majestic presence of the figure of a deer on its top.
In the artist's imagination, the contemporary and the archaic coexist in the igloo, in a circularity where time is suspended. Defined by Merz with a wide variety of terms - including hut, dome, tent, belly, skull, earth - the igloo materializes a primordial architecture in dialogue with the complexity of the social and industrial context of the second half of the twentieth century.
A synthetic image, which in its hemispherical form includes the elements of natural and urban reality - light, water, earth, wood, stones - to transform them into a poetic vision, the igloo takes on in the art of Mario Merz multiple meanings that change and evolve from work to work. If on the one hand it has the fundamental function of delimiting a space - or of defining the limit between the internal space and the external space - on the other it is a symbol or a metaphor of the condition of man and his way of inhabiting the world of today.
In Untitled, 1998 the deer pays homage to the recurring theme of animals, prehistoric or terrible, which thus also become part of the igloo vocabulary, increasing their archaic and primitive dimension.
The work directly recalls the natural environment both through the use of fagots - a constant in the artist's production since the 1970s - and through the presence of the deer, whose majestic figure is made even more expressive by the number 'Fibonacci' 10946 positioned on the side of the animal, here in cast aluminum.