Gustav Metzger: Decades 1959–2009

The 20th century through the eyes of a German pioneer

Serpentine Gallery

29 Sep 2009 to 8 Nov 2009

Gustav Metzger: Decades 1959–2009

Admission Free

This major survey of Gustav Metzger’s work drew together threads of the artist’s practice from the past six decades (1959 to 2009). It was the first time such an extensive overview of Metzger’s work had been shown in the UK.

Read more

Gustav Metzger worked closely with the Serpentine to research both his own archives and those kept by institutions, identifying milestone works from his career and developing new works specifically for this exhibition. The result was a broad cross-section of Metzger's work, including the auto-destructive and auto-creative works of the 1960s such as the pioneering use of liquid crystals projections; the Historic Photographs series, which responded to major events and catastrophes of the twentieth century; and works exploring ecological issues, globalisation and commercialisation. Film footage of seminal performances and actions was also shown.

A central feature of the exhibition was MASS MEDIA: Yesterday and Today (2009), a participative installation that used a susbtantial archive of newspapers Metzger had collected since 1995. Members of the public were invited to have a hands-on experience of the newspaper collection by taking part in the creation of this new work.

Several works, which no longer existed due to their ephemeral or auto-destructive nature, were recreated following the artist's instructions alongside newly commissioned works.

Following the exhibition, the Serpentine Gallery staged a groundbreaking two-day conference on the subject of extinction, the Mass Extinction Conference: A Call to Act (18 – 19 February 2010).

 

Close

Related Events / Exhibitions

Marathon

Serpentine Pavilion

Experiment Marathon

13 Oct 2007 - 12:00 PM to 14 Oct 2007 - 3:00 PM

The previous year’s legendary, 24-hour Interview Marathon was expanded in scope.

View Event

Marathon

Serpentine Pavilion

Manifesto Marathon

18 Oct 2008 - 10:00 AM to 19 Oct 2008 - 7:00 PM

Manifesto Marathon, the third in the Serpentine Gallery’s acclaimed series of Marathon events, took place in the closing weekend of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2008, designed by Frank Gehry.

View Event

Shop

Serpentine Gallery Manifesto Marathon

Publication

Serpentine Gallery Manifesto Marathon

Serpentine Gallery Manifesto Marathon

£28.00

Supporters

Supporters

Gustav Metzger: Decades 1959–2009 supporters

Back to Top

The 20th century through the eyes of a German pioneer

Gustav Metzger 2009

Gustav Metzger, Decades 1959–2009

Gustav Metzger

2009
Liquid Crystal Environment, 2005–2009

Five slide projectors and liquid crystals, dimensions variable

Installation view from the exhibition Gustav Metzger: Decades 1959–2009, Serpentine Gallery, London (29 September - 8 November 2009)

Courtesy of Tate, London

Gustav Metzger 2009

Gustav Metzger

Gustav Metzger

2009
Historic Photographs: Kill the Cars, Camden Town, London 1996 1996 / 2009

Photograph, car and audio, dimensions variable

Installation view from the exhibition Gustav Metzger: Decades 1959–2009, Serpentine Gallery, London (29 September - 8 November 2009)

Courtesy of the artist and Andrew Testa

Gustav Metzger

Gustav Metzger

2009
MASS MEDIA: Today and Yesterday, 2009

Newspapers, tables, magnetic paint and magnets, dimensions variable

Installation view from the exhibition Gustav Metzger: Decades 1959–2009, Serpentine Gallery, London (29 September - 8 November 2009)

Courtesy of the artist