Gustav Metzger (1926–2017) was a London-based artist, born in Nuremberg to Polish-Jewish parents. From 1945-1953, he studied art in Cambridge, London, Antwerp, and Oxford. By 1958, Metzger was becoming heavily involved in anti- capitalist, anti-consumerist movements, and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, leading to a short imprisonment for encouraging mass non-violent civil disobedience. Metzger’s political activism provided the foundation for his first artist manifesto in 1959, Auto-destructive Art, which he described as “a desperate last-minute subversive political weapon... an attack on the capitalist system.” Auto-destructive art sought to provide a mirror of a social and political system, which Metzger felt was progressing towards total obliteration. At the heart of his practice, which spanned over 65 years, was a series of constantly opposing yet interdependent forces such as destruction and creation. He had solo exhibitions at MAMAC, Nice (2017), MUSAC, León (2016), Tate Britain, London (2016), Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2015), CoCA Torun, Poland (2015), Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (2015), Kunsthall Oslo and Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (2015), Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2014), and Serpentine Gallery, London (2009).

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