TIF SIGFRIDS is very happy to be presenting the first exhibition of Albert Mertz’s work in Los Angeles, “Albert Mertz: Watch Red-Blue T.V.” Albert was a Danish artist who lived from 1920 until 1990 and spent the last twenty-two years of his life working with what he called The Red-Blue Proposition. Every day he painted things red and blue. Paper, cardboard, canvases, and the chair he sat on, the wrapping of cigarette packages he smoked, the envelopes of letters he received. Half red. Half blue. Once you know Albert, you’ll begin to notice what a popular color combination this is. For several years now, we’ve been thinking of Albert Mertz and nearly everywhere we go, something reminds us of him.
You might ask yourself, why red, why blue? To this we say, why not? Contrary to much speculation (and affirmed through insider sources) we’ve discovered that the red had nothing to do with the Danish flag and the blue bore no relationship to water, sky, man, or woman. It certainly wasn’t a question of beauty. Albert, in fact, once claimed that the combination excelled because of its obvious ugliness.
The title of this exhibition is taken from a note we discovered in a journal dated March 10, 1987. When taking stock of the myriad of notebooks he kept throughout his life, we noticed that Albert gave a lot of thought to television as an object, but also as an omniscient presence in the world. Similar to his thinking about art, he observed that television isn’t interesting because it describes the world, but because it is a product of the world functioning within it. The object was important to Mertz, but not only as a container of ideas or concepts. For him, the meaning was in the use. As he also once said, "The artist does not work for eternity (which the atomic bomb has put an end to), but for the here and now, for this day, today."
Also, we are told, Albert just liked T.V. Prior to his death, he was chosen to represent Denmark in the Sao Paolo Biennale. In a sketch for this exhibition, Albert proposed including 24 red/blue T.V. paintings, but due to his untimely passing these works were never realized. With much excitement, we welcome Albert to Hollywood with this exhibition dedicated to a theme that seems fitting for the neighborhood.
We’d like to acknowledge Lone Mertz’s (a.k.a. Mertz Mertz) insurmountable contribution to it’s organization.