Gilbert & George are two men who together are one artist. For more than five decades they have been creating art that challenges the conventions of art and society with a blatant disregard for any notions of “good taste”. The Great Exhibition treats you to a unique artistic vision, with over fifty pictures selected by Gilbert & George.
As the most iconic double of the art world, dressed in near-matching and impeccably well-pressed suits, Gilbert & George have resided in the same London East End neighbourhood since the 1960s. Fearless and straight to the point, their art has the power to unsettle the viewer.
Gilbert & George – an indivisible artistic entity
Ever since they met at Saint Martin’s School of Art, Gilbert (born in the Dolomites, Italy, in 1943) and George (born in Devon, UK, in 1942) have walked their own path. Being both subjects and objects of their art, they are indisputably an indivisible artistic entity and have dedicated their life to art. By committing themselves to a discipline as rigorous as it is creative, keeping their life at their home and East End studio to simple classless routines, they have made room for total creative madness.
Comedy, tragedy, desperation, fearlessness and sadness
From floor to ceiling the exhibition space is filled with pictures that are at once thrilling and frightening, grotesque and austere, surreal and symbolic. The pictures almost always portray the artists themselves, often gazing directly at the viewer. Sex, money, race, and religion are among subjects of their art, which succeeds in combining happiness and sadness. Punk rockers and hipsters, Morris dance and bombs, autumn leaves and classifieds of all kinds – Gilbert & George probe the world around us with piercing eyes. “The Great Exhibition” is as democratic, generous and extravagant as its creators. Gilbert & George proclaim “art for all”.
Curators: Hans Ulrich Obrist and Daniel Birnbaum