Mario Merz Untitled (A Real Sum Is a Sum of People) 1972

  • Not on view

This sequence of photographs depicts an ever-increasing number of people sitting in a restaurant, numbered in neon above. These numbers follow the Fibonacci series, a system of growth (often seen in nature) that perpetuates itself by adding the two previous elements to arrive at the next. Merz began using the series in 1970. He has said, "I did not understand why a work of art had to be a certain length when it could be infinite. . . . In the Fibonacci series, there are no spatial limitations because space becomes infinite—not abstract infinity, but biological infinity."

Gallery label from 2008.
Gelatin silver prints, neon tubing, transformer, and wire
Overall 24" x 16' 7 1/4" x 5 1/8" (60.9 x 506 x 13 cm)
Mrs. Armand P. Bartos Fund
Object number
© 2021/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome
Painting and Sculpture

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