Lingotto was made in the year that Merz began exhibiting with other artists associated with the Arte Povera movement. The bundles of brushwood create an imposing sculpture and are characteristic of the group’s employment of humble materials. Over the brushwood a block of beeswax rests on a steel framework, evoking a single gold bar – ‘lingotto’ means ‘ingot’ in Italian. Lingotto is also the district in the artist’s home city of Turin, famous for the Fiat factory, a modernist yellow building, where his father worked. Together these disparate references suggest the contrasts between poor and luxury and rural and modern, urban existence.