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Gustav Metzger (born 1926) is an artist and political activist who developed the concept of Auto-Destructive Art and the Art Strike. Together with John Sharkey, he initiated the Destruction in Art Symposium in 1966. Metzger is recognized for his protests in the political and artistic realms.
Metzger was born to Polish-Jewish parents in Nuremberg, Germany in 1926 and came to Britain as a refugee under the auspices of the Refugee Children Movement.
He has been stateless since the 1940s.
Metzger is known as a leading exponent of the Auto-Destructive Art and the Art Strike movements. He was also involved in the Fluxus movement.
He was also active in the Committee of 100 and took part in their early anti-nuclear base campaigns of direct action and occupation.
In 1959 he published the first auto-destructive manifesto Auto-Destructive Art. This was given as a lecture to the Architecture Association in 1964, which was taken over by students as an artistic 'Happening'.
In 1961, he participated in the Festival of Misfits with the Fluxus group, in Gallery One, London. He exhibited the front page of the Daily Mirror covering the Vietnam War. His contribution was rejected and removed by other participants.
In 2005 he selected EASTinternational which he proclaimed to be "The art exhibition without the art.".
Metzger has continued to make challenging art works around the world. He lives and works in East London.
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