GUSTAVE METZGER (1926-PRESENT) AUTO DESTRUCTIVE ART AN EXHIBITION AT TATE BRITAIN MILLBANK LONDON REVIEWED BY LAURENCE HUMPHRIES

Tate Britain is showing an Exhibition of 22 unseen Paintings of Gerard Metzger. Metzger a Polish Jew born in Germany was part of a movement called Auto Destructive Art. As well as being an artist Metzger was also a political during the 1960’s. “Gustav  Metzger is one of the central figures of post war British avant- garde  art. born in 1926 into a Jewish-polish family in Nuremberg, he and his brother narrowly escaped the intensifying persecution of Jews and were evacuated in 1939 to England”. [1].

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In his paintings he depicted destruction as a means to draw attention to the destructive capabilities of Capitalism. In 1960 together with other campaigners he was involved in the Pacifist Aldermaston marches against Nuclear Weapons. He became associated with Pat Arrowsmith  in the commit of 100 and later CND. “Throughout the 60 years that Metzger has been producing politically engaged works he has incorporated materials ranging from trash to old newspapers , liquid crystals and even acid”.  [2].

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Metzger has been involved in a number of Art movements. His influences were David Bomberg a member of the Borough group. He taught Metzger. “The Painter David Bomberg the leading light of the Borough Group ,taught Metzger and was influential in his development”. [3].

For Metzger auto destructive Art is primarily a focus of Public art for industrial societies.

This is a very Interesting Exhibition showing some of Metzger’s unseen Work. He made an interesting contribution to Art and I would Recommend a visit to Tate Britain and view his work in the BP Spotlights section of the Gallery.

FOOTNOTES

1)  TATE ETC  ISSUE 34 -SUMMER 2015 PG.19

2)  HANAMIRAN, JOYCELYN .MODERN PAINTERS SEPTEMBER 2009.

3)  JONES, A.  AN INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHS OF GUSTAV METZGER FORUM FOR HOLOCAUST STUDIES UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

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