Happy Birthday Kurt Schwitters!! Born in Germany in 1887, this collagist was incredibly innovative in advancing the idea of "found object collage". He was considered a forerunner of Dada in Hanover (he was not politically correct enough for Berlin at the time), and wanted to "free art from the tyranny of traditional materials. He used anything to create his constructions and collages, transforming everyday trash into organized, orderly art pieces. Schwitters did not attempt to hide the original meaning or purpose of the items, seeking only bits and pieces to serve his form, color and texture desires. Schwitters has been a great influence on my own practices in found object art, as I subscribe to many of his beliefs. His particular handling in found object art and poetry became known as Merz, the nonsensical title belonging to him alone, taken from a bit of headline from a collage of his, stating Kommerzbank (Commerce Bank). He eventually left Germany, seeking a quiet place (away from the Nazis) to create his art and went to Norway and finally England, where he died in 1948. Below is a collage of bits of paper, cork, wood, etc. titled Merz Pictures 32A, The Cherry Picture.