Anna McNay

Interview with Gustav Metzger


Gustav Metzger: interview

Gustav Metzger: Lift Off!

Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge

24 May – 31 August 2014

“When I was young I wanted art that
would lift off, that would levitate, gyrate, bring together different – perhaps
contradictory  – aspects of my being. The
search for – the need to encapsulate varying kinds of contradictory elements,
the urgency of stopping sharp – extinct – twist and: razor-sharp endpoint.
After the experience, we expand, reconnect with a normality which is not the same
as it was. But normality once changed is not the same.” [Untitled, handwritten
note by Gustav Metzger, p.2 exh. cat.]

Although Metzger (born in Nuremberg,
Germany, in 1926) is better known for his Auto-Destructive Art, he was
simultaneously developing its counterpart, Auto-Creative Art, in the same
lecture demonstrations and manifestos that took place from 1959. The current
exhibition of his works at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, focuses on the
lesser-known Auto-Creative works, contextualising these against film and
archive footage. It is a significant homecoming for the artist who studied at
the Cambridge School of Art in 1945.

Studio International was lucky
enough to meet Metzger in his London Fields studio. After a brief chat about the
magazine, with Metzger recalling his two contributions from March and October
1969, we turn to talk about his work, his motivations, and his scientifically
driven techniques.

To read the interview, please go to: