Kurt Schwitters is known primarily as a Dadaist artist. The Dadaists express their disdain for bourgeois norms, violence and the conservative art world by making absurd, provocative and politically oriented works. Schwitters’ oeuvre, however, also has a very different, researching and organizational aspect.

Sources of inspiration

He was inspired in this by the Dutch artist Theo van Doesburg, whom he met in 1922 and who brought him in contact with the avant-garde movement De Stijl. As of 1924, another source of inspiration was the Russian constructivist artist El Lissitzky, under whose influence Schwitters began making reliefs, as a special combination of painting, sculpture and architecture.


In Relief with yellow rectangle 2, Schwitters has a free and playful approach to the material, colour and form. He allows parts to protrude outside the wooden frame on the top and right of the relief. The thin vertical black bar is placed in front and the white-painted hemisphere also protrudes out of the surface. The small yellow rectangle seems to float in an undefined space.