On 11 November 2015 Yad Vashem UK Foundation organised a private viewing of the works of Gustav Metzger, the refugee escaping Germany in 1939, who was an artist and political activist who developed the concept of Auto-Destructive Art and the Art Strike. was followed by a Q&A with Andrew Wilson and Clive Phillpot at Tate Britain.
Gustav Metzger April 1926 – 2017
He was born into a Jewish-Polish family in Nuremberg, the notorious centre for Nazi rallies. His parents Juda and Fanny nee Turner came from Polish hometown Przemyzl in 1918. His father was a salesman. As Nazi persecution of Jews intensified and his father and sisters were arrested, he and a brother were evacuated in 1939 to England through the Kindertransport scheme. (after Kristallnacht 9-10 Nov 1938) His parents along with other members of the family died in Poland during the course of the war. Amazingly his 2 sisters managed to escape from Poland and made their way to England and eventually ending up in Palestine. He has been stateless since 1940’s. He received a grant from the UK Jewish community to study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp between 1948-1949.
Andrew Wilson is a curator, art historian, and art critic. He has been Curator of Modern and Contemporary British Art at Tate Britain since 2006.
Clive Phillpot is a writer and curator. He was Director of the Library of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, from 1977-1994. In 1997 he conducted 35 hours of interviews with Gustav Metzger for the Artists’ Lives programme of the British Library.