Auto-Destructive Art: Metzger at AA
Gustav Metzger

With a preface by Andrew Wilson

‘Auto-destructive art is a comprehensive theory for action in the field of the plastic arts in the post-second world war period. The action is not limited to theory of art and the production of art works. It includes social action. Auto-destructive art is committed to a left-wing revolutionary position in politics, and to struggles against future wars.’
Gustav Metzger, introduction to Auto-Destructive Art: Metzger at AA

In February 1965, six years after publishing his manifesto Auto-Destructive Art, the German-born artist and political activist Gustav Metzger delivered a lecture at the Architectural Association, expanding on this new theory. In a ‘lunatic’ society obsessed with its own destructive capabilities, he argued, auto-destructive art ‘tries to link up and give expression to this new situation’. In June 1965 the AA’s Action Communications Centre released an expanded version of the talk. Released on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Metzger’s visit to the AA, this new edition – now with a preface by Andrew Wilson, curator of Modern and Contemporary British Art and Archives, Tate – reignites Metzger’s urgent and timeless call to confront society’s obsession with destruction and the detrimental effects of technology on human life.

September 2015, English
29.7 x 21 cm, 40 pages
Saddle-stitched softcover with jacket
ISBN 978-1-907414-50-3
Order online from AA Bookshop