In Conversation: Hélène Guenin and Mathieu Copeland on Gustav Metzger

  • 29 July 2021

On the occasion of ‘Gustav Metzger’ at Hauser & Wirth Somerset, we joined Hélène Guenin, director of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Nice (MAMAC), Mathieu Copeland, curator, and Alexandre Devals, director of the Venet Foundation for an in-dept conversation on Metzger’s practice.

About the exhibition
‘Gustav Metzger remains a moral compass, a constant reminder that integrity comes at a price, and that fighting for your convictions can indeed change the world. Metzger has done more than raise awareness. His art and philosophy are a stark testimony to the alternative world for which he strove.’—Mathieu Copeland.

Gustav Metzger (1926-2017) radically challenged our understanding of art, its relation to reality and our existence within society. His uncompromising commitment to combat environmental destruction was fundamental to his questioning of the role of the artist and the act of artmaking as a vehicle for change. Hauser & Wirth’s inaugural exhibition of Metzger’s work in Somerset will provide a focused look at works that explore the intersection between human intervention, nature and man-made environments, ideas the artist continued to interrogate over a six-decade career.

About the speakers
Hélène Guenin, is Director at MAMAC, Nice (France) since Spring 2016. She curated there – among others - Gustav Metzger. Remember Nature (2017); a survey show of Liz Magor (2017 – coproduction Migros Museum, Zurich; Kunstverein, Hamburg); Cosmogonies, a multidisciplinary and historical group show focused on ecological issues and co-creation with Nature from Yves Klein to Thu-Van Tran (2018); Irene Kopelman On-Growing Intertwined, knotted, coiled landscapes (2018); Devil in the Flesh, When Op art electrifies cinema (2019 with Pauline Mari), and more recently She-Bam Pow POP Wizz! The Amazons of POP (with Géraldine Gourbe, 2020-21) and the first solo show of Ursula Biemann in France: Indigenous Knowledges _ Cosmological Fictions (2020-2021).

Former chief curator at Centre Pompidou-Metz from 2008 to 2016, she curated there, among others: Sublime. The tremors of the world; An Imaginary Museum with Tate Liverpool (Francesco Manacorda) and MMK Frankfurt (Peter Gorschlüter) ; Tania Mouraud. A Retrospective; ; Wander – Labyrinthine variations with Guillaume Désanges. From 2002 to 2008 she was curator at Frac Lorraine and assistant curator at Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain in 2001.

Mathieu Copeland is an independent curator and editor. He curated the exhibition “Gustav Metzger” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon (macLYON) in 2013.