Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
ART STRIKE 1977-1980 [excerpt]
The refusal to labour is the chief weapon of workers fighting the system; artists can use the same weapon. To bring down the art system it is necessary to call for years without art, a period of three years - 1977 to 1980 - when artists will not produce work, sell work, permit work to go on exhibitions, and refuse collaboration with any part of the publicity machinery of the art world. This total withdrawal of labor is the most extreme collective challenge that artists can make to the state. The years without art will see the collapse of many private galleries. Museums and cultural institutions handling contemporary art will be severely hit, suffer loss of funds, and will have to reduce their staff. National and local government institutions will be in serious trouble. Art magazines will fold. The international ramifications of the dealer/museum/publicity complex make for vulnerability; it is a system that is keyed to a continuous juggling of artists, finance, works and information - damage one part, and the effect is felt world-wide.
Three years is the minimum period required to cripple the system, whilst a longer period of time would create difficulties for artists. The very small number of artists who live from the practice of art are sufficiently wealthy to live on their capital for three years. The vast majority of people who produce art have to subsidise their work by other means; they will, in fact, be saving money and time. Most people who practice art never sell their work at a profit, do not get the chance to exhibit their work under proper conditions, and are unmentioned by the publicity organs. Some artist may find it difficult to restrain themselves from producing art. These artist will be invited to enter camps, where making of art works is forbidden, and where any work produced is destroyed at regular intervals. In place of the practice of art, people can spend time on the numerous historical, esthetic and social issues facing art. It will be necessary to construct more equitable forms for marketing, exhibiting and publicising art in the future. As the twentieth century has progressed, capitalism has smothered art - the deep surgery of the years without art will give it a new chance.
Gustav Metzger, 1974
Published by Nero. Text by Pontus Kyander, Andrew Wilson, Mathieu Copeland, Leanne Dmyterko, Manuel Olveira. Interview by Dobrila Denegri, Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Act or Perish! accompanies the first extensive overview of Auto-Destructive art pioneer Gustav Metzger (born 1926), organized in 2015–16 at the Centre of Contemporary Art in Torun and Kunsthall Oslo and Stiftelsen Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo. The exhibition catalog provides readers with a rich array of theoretical contributions, including a conversation between Dobrila Denegri and Yoko Ono, Ivor Davies, Hermann Nitsch and Jon Hendricks, as well as Metzger’s own writings. Essayists Pontus Kyander, Andrew Wilson, Mathieu Copeland, Dobrila Denegri, Leanne Dmyterko, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Manuel Olveira take up different aspects of Metzger’s work, from the artist’s early political activism to his experimentation with painting and his drafting of the manifestos for Auto-Destructive Art, providing an invaluable and much-awaited document of a pioneer of postwar art.
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 8.75 x 11.75 in. / 220 pgs / 84 color / 51 bw.
PUBLISHING STATUS PUB DATE 10/25/2016 Active
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. EXCLUSIVE CATALOG: SPRING 2017 p. 112
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9788897503873TRADE LIST PRICE: $40.00 CDN $52.50
AVAILABILITY In stock
in stock $40.00
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Published by New Museum. Edited by Gary Carrion-Murayari, Massimiliano Gioni. Foreword by Lisa Phillips. Text by Mathieu Copeland, Paul McCarthy. Interview by Gary Carrion-Murayari.
Gustav Metzger: Historic Photographs was published for the first US solo exhibition of the influential artist and activist Gustav Metzger (born 1926). As a survivor of the Holocaust, Metzger has first-hand experience of displacement and destruction. The exhibition at the New Museum featured the most complete installation to date of Metzger’s series of sculptural installations titled Historic Photographs. This series confronts the viewer with some of the most powerful and tragic images of twentieth-century history, which Metzger has enlarged, obscured or hidden in a variety of ways. Historic Photographs spans a range of historical events including the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto in 1943, the Oklahoma City bombing and environmental destruction in contemporary England.
PUBLISHER NEW MUSEUM
BOOK FORMAT Paperback, 5.5 x 8 in. / 71 pgs / 17 color / 7 bw.
PUBLISHING STATUS PUB DATE 9/30/2011 Active
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. EXCLUSIVE CATALOG: SPRING 2012 p. 102
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9780915557943TRADE LIST PRICE: $14.95 CDN $17.50
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Published by Walther König, Köln. Foreword by Julia Peyton-Jones, Hans Ulrich Obrist. Text by Norman Rosenthal, Sophie O'Brien, Clive Phillpot.
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 Nüremberg, 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.
Published by Walther König. Text by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Gustav Metzger.
In volume 16 of The Conversation Series, Hans Ulrich Obrist presents an in-depth exchange with the venerable German-born artist and activist Gustav Metzger, which illuminates the artist's fascinating life and 60-year career. In 1959, Metzger penned a manifesto of Auto-destructive art, which states in part, "Auto-destructive paintings, sculptures and constructions have a lifetime varying from a few moments to 20 years. When the disintegrative process is complete, the work is to be removed from the site and scrapped." In this volume, Metzger talks to Obrist about his past and present association with Auto-destructive art, how he has come to fuse his art practice with his political commitment to human rights and ecology, how he escaped the Holocaust at the age of 13 and the many projects he has yet to realize.
Published by Hatje Cantz Publishers. Essays by Justin Hoffman, Kristine Stiles and Andrew Wilson.
Notorious “guitar trasher” Pete Townshend (of the legendary rock band The Who) refers to Gustav Metzger as his teacher--due mainly to the artist/activist's continued reaction to the threat posed by the global nuclear arms race, which he has also opposed politically since 1956. Born the son of Orthodox Jews, Metzger survived the Holocaust through salvation by the Refugee-Children-Movement in England, and, since the 1990s, has worked on a series of Historical Photographs based on his past. Based in topical political, economic and social themes, Metzger's manifestos, concepts and demonstrations often thematize the twentieth century's destructive potential, and also address the capitalist system and the art industry. History History--the comprehensive catalogue to the Metzger retrospective held at the Generali Foundation in Vienna--offers a detailed overview of the artist's oeuvre within its historical context. Numerous original works, documentary materials and an illustrated chronology showcase Metzger's significance from the 1960s until today. Accompanying these visuals are texts from Justin Hoffmann, Kristine Stiles and Andrew Wilson.