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Gustav Metzger

Born 1926 in Nuremberg (Germany),
died 2017 in London (United Kingdom)

An anti-capitalist activist, a pioneer of political ecology and the inventor of “auto-destructive art,” Gustav Metzger produced radical artworks throughout his lifetime, and most of his works were designed to deconstruct and disappear. A child refugee who arrived in Great Britain in 1939, he ceaselessly testified to the violence in our societies and to mankind’s self-destructive tendencies. Destruction, however, does not exist in his oeuvre without the clear expression of the potential for creative renewal. In his “auto-creative” works, he explored the constant metamorphosis of closed-circuit artworks, the most iconic articulation being his liquid-crystal environments, conceived from 1966 onwards. Supportive is the largest of these installations. Liquid crystals are placed between two rotating glass sheets that are inserted in seven projectors, generating random and constantly changing forms under the influence of heat, light and movement. This wall immerses the spectator in a choreography of lights and colours, which lasts only as long as it takes to behold: a constant vanishing act that is forever generating new forms.

Acknowledgements : École de Production La Giraudière supported by Total Foundation

Gustav Metzger, Supportive, 1966-2011. Collection macLYON © Blaise Adilon