Giles Bailey & Gustav Metzger, 28 June 2014
Artist Gustav Metzger (b. 1926, Nuremberg) came to England through the Kindertransport scheme in 1939. From 1941-2, he studied carpentry at the ORT Technical College on Roseville Road in Leeds and in 1943-4 worked as a joiner at the Harewood Estate. During this time he developed 'a love affair' with Temple Newsam House where curator Philip Hendy installed the Leeds Art Gallery collection and staged a series of exhibitions by modern artists, including Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Paul Nash.
Having attended art school, on the advice of Henry Moore, Metzger published his Auto-Destructive Art Manifesto in 1959, shortly followed by his first public art demonstration at the Temple Gallery, London. In its destructiveness, his practice addresses the susceptibility of industrial society to catastrophic events. He has said, "Facing up to the Nazis and the powers of the Nazi state coloured my life as an artist."
Metzger was in conversation with artist Giles Bailey (b. 1981, York) whose writing and performance-based work acknowledges doubt and subjectivity in making sense of past events. Currently Lecturer in Fine Art at Newcastle University, Giles has performed at OUTPOST Gallery, Norwich, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow and Chisenhale Gallery, London.