Intense sensibilities pervade the THIRTEEN EARTHLY PICTURES and combine within them, setting the antic pace of their mysterious and unsettling chapter. As the art of Gilbert & George is an endless visionary journey through life, this most recent path has taken the artists to a sinister, unpredictable and lonely place. The THIRTEEN EARTHLY PICTURES show Gilbert & George stopped in their tracks by a host of strange and seemingly malevolent agents, some man-made, some from nature, some machine-made. Yet all are ordinary and local – might be found in the iimediate locale, almost anywhere. The art of Gilbert & George comprises a ceaselessly searching and self – questioning artistic vision – the collapse of meaning into the play and conflict of sub-conscious forces within the business of earthly modern life.
Words by Michael Bracewell.
36 pp with softback cover.
245 x 300mm (landscape).
Gilbert & George began creating art together in 1967 when they met at St Martins School of Art, and from the beginning, in their films and ‘LIVING SCULPTURE’ they appeared as figures in their own art. The artists believe that everything is potential subject matter for their art, and they have always addressed social issues, taboos and artistic conventions. Implicit in their art is the idea that an artist’s sacrifice and personal investment is a necessary condition of art. They have depicted themselves as naked figures in their own pictures, recasting the male nude as something vulnerable and fragile rather than as a potent figure of strength. The backdrop and inspiration for much of their art is the East End of London where Gilbert & George have lived and created art for nearly 50 years. From street signs to Ginkgo trees, from chewing gum stains on the pavements to vistas of urban grandeur and decay, their work is both an ongoing portrait of a city and a reflection on the human condition. Gilbert & George have confronted many of the fundamental issues of existence: sex, religion, corruption, violence, hope, fear, racial tension, patriotism, addiction and death.
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