Gustav Metzger on Life and Art

'All I can say is this totality of life, whatever that might mean, this attempt to grasp what is important, this attempt to merge with what is most important. That is, I think, is the centre of my life'

Gustav Metzger, born in 1926, developed the concept of auto-destructive art where destruction was part of the process of creating the work. Themes of political activism and engagement are heavily rooted in his work. He arrived in Britain as a refugee after losing several members of his family in the Holocaust and was associated with protests against American rocket bases in the UK as well as campaigns for nuclear disarmament. He also went to prison for encouraging mass non-violent civil disobedience.

This video was made on the occasion of the display BP Spotlight: Gustav Metzger: towards auto-destructive art 1950–1962 at Tate Britain.

We Recommend

Find Out More