The Royal Palace of Venaria wishes to enhance and enrich its collection of contemporary art by hosting again, for a long period, the Double Igloo of Porto (1998) by Mario Merz at the Fontana del Cervo in the Court of Honor ,
The work, created for the park of the Museu Serralves in Porto, is strongly linked to the natural environment and that of the Royal Palace Gardens, through the use of fagots and in particular to the context of the Deer Fountain, with the majestic presence of a deer on top of the structure, on whose side a neon Fibonacci number is attached.
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.
Synthetic image, which in its hemispherical shape 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 internal space and external space - on the other it is a symbol or metaphor of the condition of man and his way of inhabiting the world of Today.
In the Untitled created for the park of the Museu Serralves in Porto on the occasion of the personal exhibition held there in 1998, the deer pays homage to the recurring theme of animals, prehistoric or terrible, which thus also become part of the vocabulary of the igloos, increasing their dimension archaic and primitive.
The work directly recalls the natural environment both through the use of fagots - a constant presence 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 'Fibonacci' number 10946 positioned on the side of the animal, here in cast aluminium.