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Artist Gustav Metzger passes away at age 90

Mar 04,2017


LONDON (AP) - Gustav Metzger, whose concept of “auto-destructive art” inspired The Who’s Pete Townshend to smash his guitars, has died at age 90.

Publicist Erica Bolton said Metzger died Wednesday at his London home.

Born to Polish Jewish parents in Nuremberg, Germany in 1926, Metzger was one of thousands of “Kindertransport” children brought to Britain from Nazi-occupied Europe in 1939. Most of his family died in the Holocaust.

Metzger studied art in Cambridge, London, Antwerp and Oxford and also became politically engaged, active in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the anti-war group the Committee of 100. In 1961, he was briefly imprisoned with philosopher Bertrand Russell and other members of the group for encouraging civil disobedience.

In 1959, Metzger produced a manifesto for “auto-destructive art,” which he described as “a desperate last-minute subversive political weapon” against capitalism and consumerism. The idea was to meld destruction and creation. AP