Kurt Schwitters, the German ‘multimedia’ Dadaist artist, who developed a somewhat contradictory tendency towards constructionism, considered Merzbau to be one of his most important works. Merzbau is a construction/installation he performed from 1923 to 1936 as an obsessive work-in-progress. The structure was created by partitioning the Schwitters family house in Hannover into an unbelievable spatial assembly that housed his collection of various items, including artworks. Most of them were relics and memories of friends, mostly artists, and Schwitters describes Merzbau as a ‘constructed autobiography’. Merzbau was conceived as a work of absolute art that constantly changed with Schwitters’ personal life, so certain grottos – subspaces of the installation (grottos) disappeared beneath wooden panels and plaster, and new ones appeared.
 After his exile to escape the Nazis, he continued working on two new Merzbaus, first in a garden of a house near Oslo, and then in Elterwater in Great Britain, the only one that is still standing. From 1947 until his death in 1948, Schwitters managed to build just a single wall.