Mario Merz Prize

Edition 3

Mario Merz Prize III edition

Bertille Bak wins the third edition of Mario Merz Prize – Art section

On Thursday 10 October at the Italian Embassy in Madrid, on the occasion of the Mario Merz exhibition El tiempo es mudo at the Palacio de Velázquez, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Beatrice Merz announces the winner of the third edition of the Mario Merz Prize Art section.

Bertille Bak, finalist together with artists Mircea Cantor, David Maljković, Maria Papadimitriou, Unknown Friend, was chosen by a jury composed of the public and of Manuel Borja-Villel (director of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid), Lawrence Weiner (artist), Massimiliano Gioni (artistic director of the New Museum, New York – artistic director of the Fondazione Trussardi, Milan) and Beatrice Merz.

Finalists exhibition of Mario Merz Prize third edition

Curated by Claudia Gioia, Samuel Gross and Beatrice Merz

Fondazione Merz, 3 June – 6 October 2019


Fondazione Merz is pleased to present the exhibition of the 5 finalists selected for the Art Section in this third edition of the Mario Merz Prize: Bertille Bak (France, 1983), Mircea Cantor (Romania, 1977), David Maljković (Croatia, 1973), Maria Papadimitriou (Greece, 1957) e Unknown Friend, duo composed of Stephen G. Rhodes (USA, 1977) and Barry Johnston (USA, 1980).

The finalists present stylistic and formal solutions that differ according to their respective stories and experiences, generational and geographical appurtenance, yet each of them expresses the same questioning vision of the present.

Logos, invention and art converge in a sort of iconisation, a space for creation where the past and the future continue to look at each other without any chronology; a present, therefore, that surprises and worries but above all is evasive.

Thus we observe the potential state, the seminal nature, the codified image, the speaking word to find a grammar of structure capable of founding a new language and vision in which art allows us to glimpse the very possibility of thinking about the present… and in difficult times, times of transition and change, it is imperative that we do this.

The artists were shortlisted by members of the pre-selection judging panel, Claudia Gioia (Indipendent Curator), Samuel Gross (Head Curator, Istituto Svizzero) and Beatrice Merz (President, Fondazione Merz) also curating the exhibition.


Jay Schwartz wins the third edition of Mario Merz Prize – Music section

Jay Schwartz, finalist together with composers Annachiara Gedda, Mauro Lanza, Filippo Perocco and Robert HP Platz, was chosen by a jury composed of the public and of Helena Winkelman (violinist and composer), Thomas Demenga (cellist and composer), Derek Han (pianist) and Willy Merz.



Finalists concert Mario Merz Prize third edition

Biblioteca civica musicale “Andrea Della Corte” Turin, 3 June 2019


The concert, organized by Fondazione Merz in collaboration with Biblioteca civica musicale “Andrea Della Corte”, is held within the setting of the eighteenth-century Villa La Tesoriera and it is conducted by Willy Merz.

Annachiara Gedda, Perspectives III

Mauro Lanza, Tutto ciò che è solido si dissolve nell’aria

Filippo Perocco, Come dura pietra

Robert HP Platz, Wunderblock

Jay Schwartz, Music for Five Stringed Instruments II Ensemble


Musicians: Niccolò Susanna, flute – Gianluca Calonghi, clarinet – Paolo Grappeggia, double bass – Andrea Rebaudengo, piano – Lorenzo Guidolin, percussions

Quartetto Maurice: Georgia Privitera, violin – Laura Bertolino, violin – Francesco Vernero, viola – Aline Privitera, cello

The finalists composers, Annachiara Gedda (Italy 1986), Mauro Lanza (France 1975), Filippo Perocco (Italy 1972), Robert HP Platz (Germany 1958), Jay Schwartz (Germany 1965), were selected by a jury composed of Giampaolo Pretto (flautist and main conductor of the Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino), Stefano Pierini (composer and lecturer at the Centro di Formazione Musicale in Turin) and Philip Samartzis (sound-designer and lecturer at the University of Melbourne).

The public can express its preference listening to the recording of the concert, available in a dedicated space in the Fondazione Merz, and on the Mario Merz Prize website.

The public vote is added to the votes cast by Jury composed of Dieter Ammann (composer), Thomas Demenga (cellist and composer), Alexander Lonquich (pianist) and Willy Merz.