Art like everything else repeats itself. So if we were to suppose that today we are about the cycle of 1960 (when the art market supposively went from strength to strength), then the question might be: What is the modern-day equivalent of Metzger’s ADA manifesto (an Absolute aesthetic idea) that can present a real alternative to the artworld of which he deplored? The answer may evolve through subcultures but it’s only through ‘Absolute aesthetic ideas’ that provide the artist with a common philosophy or goal, so that he or she, or collective group, can bring about a sense of purpose and direction that may thrive once again outside the art market.
Metzger may not have achieved his ambition to smash the commercial gallery system. His legacy was his ability to inspire a collective consciousness in all things — an idea that I think still remains relevant today.
Gustav Metzger (10 April 1926 – 1 March 2017)