Gustav Metzger

Gustav Metzger : Decades 1959-2009

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Pioneer of Auto-Destructive art, affiliate of Fluxus and the subject of several books but never a full retrospective, Gustav Metzger (born 1926) at last receives a substantial retrospective on more than half a century of activity. Born in Nuremberg, Germany, to Polish-Jewish parents, Metzger was evacuated to England with his brother as part of the Kindertransport in 1939 (his parents disappeared in 1943); 20 years later, after a period of study with the painter David Bomberg, he would abandon painting to seek ways of working that would recognize the destructiveness of the twentieth century: "artists have a special part to play in opposing extinction, if only on a theoretical, intellectual basis," he wrote. Metzger's manifesto for "Auto-Destructve" art led to the famous "Destruction in Art Symposium" held at the London ICA in 1966, in which Yoko Ono, Wolf Vostell, Al Hansen and John Latham also participated. His subsequent work has included political activism, installation, performance and writing; among the many iconic images that Metzger has bequeathed to art history is one of him assaulting a large canvas with acid, wearing a gas mask and suit-an instance of creative destructiveness which later inspired Pete Townshend of The Who to trash his guitar onstage. With essays and an interview, "Decades" records Metzger's passionate war with art for the sake of a more peaceable world.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 96 pages
  • 220 x 254 x 12mm | 557.92g
  • Cologne, Germany
  • English
  • 40 colour illustrations
  • 3865606903
  • 9783865606907
  • 1,379,750