Named after Mario Merz, the Fondazione was established in 2005 as a centre for Contemporary Art with the intent to host exhibitions, events, education-related activities, and to further research and explore art.
Presided over by Beatrice Merz, the Fondazione alternates shows dedicated to Mario and Marisa Merz, to discover and contemplate their work, with other major site-specific projects by national and international artists, who are invited to interact with the space of the Fondazione and its collections. It also cultivates research, exploring the new generations of artists with regular temporary shows.
It organizes art events, such as the Meteorite in Giardino Festival: an annual summer program of visual arts and contemporary music bringing together different disciplines related to contemporary culture.
The Mario Merz Prize is a biennial prize that aims to recognize talents in the fields of contemporary art and music composition. The project creates a new network of exhibitions and music initiatives connecting Italy and Switzerland.
The Fondazione’s building, a former heating plant for the Lancia factory, a fascinating example of industrial architecture from the 1930s owned by the Città di Torino and given in concession to the Fondazione Merz. It is located in Borgo San Paolo, an area now undergoing the urban and cultural revitalisation and refurbishment affecting much of Turin in recent years.