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'Auto-destructive art' pioneer Gustav Metzger dies at 90

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/2/2017

LONDON (AP) — Gustav Metzger, whose concept of "auto-destructive art" inspired The Who's Pete Townshend to smash his guitars, has died at age 90.

Publicist Erica Bolton says Metzger died Wednesday at his London home.

Born to Polish Jewish parents in Nuremberg, Germany in 1926, Metzger was one of hundreds of "Kindertransport" children brought to Britain from Nazi-occupied Europe in 1939. Most of his family died in the Holocaust.

In 1959, he produced a manifesto for "auto-destructive art," which he described as a "subversive political weapon" against capitalism and consumerism. The idea was to meld destruction and creation.

One artwork saw Metzger applying acid to nylon sheets so they disintegrated — creating a new view.

Townshend studied under Metzger and has said the artist inspired him to destroy guitars onstage.

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