British Museum and Architectural Studies: Becoming Gustav Metzger: Odkrywanie wczesnych lat, 1945-59

The third instalment of the Becoming Gustav Metzger online exhibition series features 19 British Museum and architectural studies, as well as Belgian landscapes dating from the late 1940s and early 1950s. While living in London, in addition to taking classes at the Sir John Cass Institute, the Borough Polytechnic and the newly founded Anglo-French Art Centre in St. John’s Wood, Metzger took the opportunity to spend time in the British Museum where he studied a variety of topics including embryology, which would subsequently feature heavily in his work, as well as examples from the permanent collection, including sculptural heads and Parthenon figure fragments. Also included in this exhibition are four examples of works from Metzger’s seminal Table series. In 1953, shortly after organising the Borough Bottega exhibition at the Berkeley Galleries in London, Metzger resigned from the group, feeling too much space had been given to Bomberg and his closest family, leading Bomberg to break off relations in anger. Metzger did not paint again for three years. Table is one of a series of approximately 15 oil paintings and a greater number of drawings, often in coloured chalks, which represent his return to art making in 1956. The series takes as its subject a three-legged occasional table Metzger had bought at auction while living in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. As with all of his paintings after 1956, rather than using a brush, Metzger applied the paint with a palette knife and with his fingers, a departure from the work he produced under Bomberg.

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