Gustav Metzger has died aged 90; director of the Met resigns

  • Gustav Metzger has died, aged 90. Born in Nuremburg to Polish-Jewish parents in 1926, the artist arrived in England in 1939 with his brother on the Kindertransport. He lived in London for the remainder of his life. He studied art in Cambridge, London, Antwerp and Oxford, and by the late 1950s was heavily involved in anti-capitalist and anti-consumerist movements, as well as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. This political activism was the motivation for his auto-destructive art manifesto of 1959. Together with John Sharkey he initiated the now legendary Destruction in Art Symposium in 1966. A retrospective of his work was held at the Serpentine Gallery, London, in 2009 and his work Liquid Crystal Environment (1965/2005), is currently on display at Tate Modern, London.
  • The director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Thomas Campbell, has resigned. Campbell, who joined the Met in 1996 as a tapestry curator and who has been director since January 2009, has faced increased scrutiny in recent months as the Met has worked to tackle its budget deficit. Campbell has overseen a rough time at the Met with the museum announcing a 24-month financial restructuring plan in April last year, shedding around 90 employees through a combination of buyouts and lay-offs. He also introduced the controversial ‘recommended’ (now ‘suggested’) admission donation of USD$25.
  • Manifesta has appointed four ‘creative mediators’ for its 12th edition which will be held in Palermo, Sicily in 2018. Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, a partner at the Rotterdam-based Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Swiss curator Mirjam Varadinis, Spanish architect Andrés Jaque, and Dutch filmmaker Bregtje van der Haak will serve in the role. The team will work with local communities to ‘reveal the city’s perspective on migration, climate change, heritage, and the current state of Europe.’ They will publicly share their research in the spring and present their plans for Manifesta in the summer.
  • Two auction house records were set in London this week with Sotheby’s taking GBP£195m in its Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist auction on Wednesday, more than doubling its figure for last year. The sale followed a strong night at Christie’s, which on Tuesday took sales of GBP£137m, a 43 per cent rise on last year. The star of the Christie’s sale was René Magritte’s La Corde Sensible (1960) which went for £14.4m including fees, an auction record for a work by the Belgian surrealist artist. Gustav Klimt’s Bauerngarten (Flower Garden, 1907) went for  close to GBP£48million at Sotherby’s.
  • The Baltic, an art institution in Gateshead in the north of England, has announced Jose Dávila, Eric N. Mack, Toni Schmale and Shen Xin as the winners of its inaugural artist prize. The winners receive a show at the museum this summer, GBP£25,000 to create new work, and a GBP£5,000 artist fee. The international award is the first worldwide art prize to be judged solely by artists, the judging panel comprising  Monica Bonvicini, Mike Nelson, Pedro Cabrita Reis, and Lorna Simpson.
  • Chus Martínez has been appointed curator of KölnSkulptur #9. The head of the Institute of Art of the FHNW Academy of Arts and Design in Basel, will curate the ninth edition of the biennial which opens 15 October, coinciding with the Sculpture Park Cologne’s 20th anniversary.
  • The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston has a USD$10-million plan for a new satellite addition in East Boston. The new Watershed building would increase ICA's exhibition space by 50 percent. 

Most Read

Nicholas Mangan, Ancient Lights (detail), 2015, two-screen installation, solar panels, batteries, projectors powered by solar energy, dimensions variable. Courtesy: the artist, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland and Labor, Mexico
At once stagnant and dynamic, politically tense and blissfully buoyant, the French capital was a strange place to be...
From victims of Hurricane Harvey to the music of Roger Waters, 2017 has been full of renewed debate around support for...
In further news: MOCA Detroit suspends Jens Hoffmann after harassment allegations; Met refuses to remove ‘suggestive’...
‘Conflicts of interest’ may have cost Beatrix Ruf her Stedelijk job but the problem doesn’t just lie with individuals...
Her work animates the consequences of our colonial history and the construction of identity politics: in a divided...
France's President Emmanuel Macron meets Burkina Faso's President Roch Marc Christian Kabore at the Presidential Palace in Burkina Faso on November 28, 2017. Courtesy: LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images
The French President’s recent comments hint at a dubious politics: using art restitution as a stopgap to France’s...
More from today’s Briefing: protesting Raghubir Singh; documenta artists defend exhibition (again); Enrico Castellani (...
Tiffany and Co., Sterling Silver Paper Cup, 2017, from the ‘Everyday Objects’ collection. Courtesy: Tiffany and Co., New York
Tiffany & Co.’s new range of gift objects and the shifting meaning of the ‘everyday’
From Hannah Black to Not Surprised, the changes demanded by today’s letter writers are still a long way from being...
Johan Grimonprez, Shadow World, 2016, film still. Courtesy: the artist, Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, Galerie Kamel Mennour, Paris, Flatland Gallery, Amsterdam, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, Louverture Films, Dillywood and Shadow World inc., New York
Johan Grimonprez’s recent films explore the mechanisms of the arms trade
A pivot to glass by the sculptor shows an attempt to see hope through political disillusionment
In further news: initiative for museum staff diversity; Gwangju Biennale's 2018 curators; Jens Hoffmann clarifies Front...
Ahead of Manifesta’s opening in Palermo next summer, the importance of remembering an alternative Mediterranean...
Inverting the gaze: real life biography, game play fantasy and Frantz Fanon combine in the British artist’s films
Old Food, 2017, production still. Courtesy: the artist, Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, Cabinet Gallery, London, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York and Rome, and dépendance, Brussels
Helen Marten responds to Ed Atkins’s new work, Old Food, currently showing at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
Elsewhere: activists protest AfD with Holocaust Memorial replica; censorship at Kuala Lumpur Biennale; Venice Biennale'...
Twenty years after the First Cyberfeminist International at Documenta X, what does Cyberfeminism look like in...
Thinking about propaganda, palimpsests, and a presentation of Tino Sehgal works in Moscow
As London's Architectural Association celebrates 100 years of female students, rediscovering the city designed by women
Lin May Saeed, Lobster, 2017. Metal, 11 x 24 x 14.5 cm. Courtesy: the artist, Nicolas Krupp, Basel, Jacky Strenz, Frankfurt am Main and Lulu, Mexico City
Lulu, Mexico City, Mexico
For the 6th Amsterdam Art Weekend, our picks of the best shows and events across the Dutch capital
Highlights of the shows included in the third iteration of Dublin Gallery Weekend
An interview with Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, on new ways for art institutions to work
With her current show at Studio_Leigh, London, the artist shares some important images
Recent instances of censorship show an emboldened far right attacking the arts, queer identity and more: artists,...
The staggering price reached by Salvator Mundi prompts the question: what are you really buying when you buy an artwork?
Wong Kar-wai, Happy Together, 1997, film still. Courtesy: the artist and Alamy 
From the new issue of frieze: Changes in urban cultures and queer aesthetics across the Sinosphere 
On the occasion of two UK solo exhibitions, the British artist reflects on the art and events that have shaped her...

Latest Magazines

frieze magazine

September 2017

frieze magazine

October 2017

frieze magazine

November - December 2017