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Hedi Mertens

First comprehensive monograph on Hedi Mertens, a significant representative of Concrete art in Switzerland

Enables the rediscovery of an important yet forgotten Swiss artist Exhibition: Hedi Mertens at MASI Lugano (March 10 to May 21, 2023) and Museum Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich (spring 2024)

The career of Swiss painter Hedi Mertens (1893–1982) differs in many respects from that of other artists of her time. Following a classical art education in Zurich and Munich, she moved primarily in intellectual milieus that brought her closer to the Constructivist­ C oncrete art movement, which had an epicenter in Zurich around Max Bill and Richard Paul Lohse. Lohse was one of Mertens’ most influential companions and interlocutors, together with Leo Leuppi, Arend Fuhrmann, and Helen Dahm, with whom she shared a deep fascination for the teachings of Indian guru Shri Meher Baba. At the age of 67, Mertens moved to Ticino, in southern Switzerland, where she finally let the manifold sources of inspiration flow into her own art. Within two decades Mertens created some 200 geometric­abstract paintings that urgently await their much­ deserved appreciation.

This first monograph on Hedi Mertens, published in conjunction with exhibitions at MASI Lugano and the Museum Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich, brings the masterful art and eventful life of this Swiss painter into focus. It enables the rediscovery of a significant representative of Concrete art in Switzerland who has been overlooked too long.

Francesca Benini is an art historian and curator at MASI Lugano. Arianna Quaglio is an art historian and junior curator at MASI Lugano.

Scheidegger & Spiess Spring 2023

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