Art & Compromise (I) Gustav Metzger

Gallery One Lecture

6 February 2008 at 2pm
free entry but booking essential
Presented during Self-Cancellation – 2-9 February

A series of lectures conceived by Beaconsfield in collaboration with City & Guilds of London Art School.

The 20th century concept of the artist as a politically alienated idealist has undergone significant shifts in recent years. Is there any form of moral obligation still within art’s purpose? What price integrity? Can the negotiations of compromise be catalysts for creative invention?


Born to Polish-Jewish parents in Nuremberg, Germany in 1926, Gustav Metzgerwitnessd the rise of Nazism before escaping to Great Britain under the auspices of the kindertransport at the age of thirteen. As an artist and political activist he developed the radical concept of auto-destructive art from the late 1950s. Forty years ago he demanded people boycott his own creations and was entirely ignored by the art establishment for four decades. Now cited as a leading influence on contemporary art, Metzger maintains a subversive practice.

The Art & Compromise series, delivered in partnership with City & Guilds of London Art School, addresses the various forms and occasions when compromise might enter into art-practice and the criteria that might be used to condemn or commend these effects. Gustav Metzger’s lecture forms part of a series including presentations by Contemporary Art Society Director, Paul Hobson, Director of Autograph ABP, Mark Sealy, and the collective of disability artists, 15mm Films.