Mario Merz's Doppia spirale (Double Spiral), magnificently realised in an iron sculpture. He realised only two different versions: while this one is naked, essential, I would say faithful to itself as a mental drawing, the other has a base covered in cut tree trunks, together with pieces of wax. A work much loved by us both, but whose primacy of possession went to the other one of us, who was quicker to make it "his", while I, crouching on the ground, nose in the air, studied its intricate and fascinating curves, asking myself what the symbolism connected to the spirals, to which I have always been incredibly attracted, might be. So, it was up to "him" to decide where it should be placed: just outside the front door, inside a protected space, enclosed by glass. It is the first work you encounter, when you come to our house, and in spring it enters into perfect harmony with an ancient wisteria that comes back to life, situated outside the glass, behind the sculpture itself. How many times a day, coming across the work, have we thought of Mario Merz?
‘The spiral is the form of the void, the spiral is the form of the solid, the spiral is the pause of the void, the spiral is the tension of the solid, the spiral is by opposites the tension and the pause of an organic that is also musical and pictorial; to begin again the most imaginary form of the void is still the spiral’
(Mario Merz, quoted in Mario Merz, exh. cat. Prato, 1990, p. 79).
The spiral is one of the central forms of Mario Merz’s extensive and varied oeuvre. Based on the Fibonacci series of numbers in which each progressive number is the sum, (or perhaps resolution), of the previous two, Merz’s spiral, which increases proportionately in accordance with the pattern of growth of the Fibonacci sequence, represented for him, a natural mapping of the proliferation of life and our expanding universe. The spiral is, therefore, for Merz, an elegant representative image of the constant pulse and flow of the cosmos and its perpetual patterns of change, transformation and of continuation.
Doppia spirale is a rare, purely sculptural manifestation of Merz’s spiral in a doubled form rising from a circle made by itself and converging at a single point vertically above it. Two spiraling iron lines, rising in length and height in accordance with the proportions of the Fibonacci sequence, combine to serve as a kind of model of the flow of energy in the universe travelling perpetually in a loop between zero and infinity. Standing at over two metres high and simultaneously seeming to both expand and contract, this elegant conjunction of two spiraling paths intertwined and forever flowing in and out of one another is a supremely poetic evocation of both unity and diversity as well as of the macrocosm and the microcosm.