Major actor of the avant-gardes of the second half of the XXth century, Gustav Metzger contributed by the end of the 1950’s, to redefine art. The artist explored new methods of creation: manifestos, performances, ephemeral works to be made according to instructions, call for public participation, Interest in process based works and metamorphosis, etc. He also broadened art to society matters and to the great issues of his time. Thus, in 1960, he developed an early thought about the setbacks of the consumer society and the environmental concerns that are more than ever a prominent issue.
Contemporary of the New Realists and of Fluxus, he shared with these artists this urge for a new art that would echo the issues of his time. The hovering shadow of World War II, the fast emergence of a consumer society, and the outbreak of an anti-establishment spirit, are all elements that composed the common background of this generation born in the late 1950’s and which represent the chore of the collections of MAMAC.Both historical and highly contemporary, Gustav Metzger’s work has come back in the spotlight since a decade.
For the first time a retrospective exhibition put in perspective fifty years of artistic experimentations throughout his early, long-lasting, and still of a great relevance ecological commitment. The exhibition offered a view in three acts: “auto-destructive art”, “auto-creative art” and “Remember Nature”.
Hélène Guenin, director of MAMAC
With the support of the Association des Amis du MAMAC and Prestalis Group