The Ben Uri Research Unit (BURU), in partnership with The Gustav Metzger Foundation, is delighted to announce Becoming Gustav Metzger: Uncovering the Early Years (1945–59). This is the first museum exhibition to examine the little-known formative years of refugee artist and activist Gustav Metzger (Nuremberg, Germany 1926 – London, England 2017). The sixth in BURU’s survey exhibitions highlighting the important contribution of Jewish and immigrant artists to British visual culture since 1900, the exhibition showcases some 40 rarely seen drawings and paintings from this crucial early period - the majority never previously exhibited - together with related archival material. Highlights include Metzger’s Portrait of Frank Auerbach (c. 1952) and the large expressionist oils The Dissolution of the City (1946) and Eroica, Funeral March (1946), as well as early abstract works on board and cardboard, and a kodak box. Together they chart Metzger’s artistic journey from figuration to abstraction prior to the development of his later radical auto-destructive practice.
Events will take place between Wednesday 28 April and Thursday 9 September 2021, starting at 6 pm (GMT).
28 April, 6-7pm (GMT)
Prepare for the opening by understanding more about Metzger’s oeuvre
12 May, 6-7pm (GMT)
15 June, 6-7pm (GMT)
14 July, 6-7.30pm (GMT)
International panel explore the themes of ecology and activism in Metzger’s oeuvre
28 July, 6-7.30pm (GMT)
‘On visiting Wittgenstein’s grave with Gustav Metzger’
18 August, 6-7pm (GMT)
Insights into Metzger's practice and life
9 September, 6-7pm (GMT)
On your behalf Ben Uri thanks the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies and British Art for their generous support towards the publication and the events programme for this important exhibition.
Becoming Gustav Metzger, Uncovering the Early Years 1945-59 opens at Ben Uri Gallery and Museum (108a Boundary Road, off Abbey Road, London NW8 0RH) on the 16 June with social distancing and Covid 19 precaution best practice to the fore. Pre-booking will be necessary to guarantee time and dated visits.