© 2009 by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department / Hong Kong Museum of Art
Gilbert & George

© 2009 by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department / Hong Kong Museum of Art

Gilbert & George

Respectively born in 1943 et en 1942, in San Martino de Badia (Italy) and in Plymouth (Great Britain) 

Live and work in London (United Kingdom)

Soon after graduating from Saint Martin’s School of Art, where they met in 1967, Gilbert & George rose to fame through their self-proclaimed “living sculptures”.

Wearing conventional suits, their faces impassive and covered with coloured powder, they perform a 1930s song, Underneath the Arches, an anthem of the lower classes, choosing to distance themselves from their immediate artistic entourage, who were more formalist and conceptual. In everyday settings, they walk, sing, read and drink, building up a body of visual material that they assembled from the early 1970s, first in black and white, then in colour, in grid formats that have frequently been compared to stained glass. Proclaiming it as “art for all”, they developed a new humanism with a universal content while refusing to provide an interpretation. Religion, sexuality, death and violence, the stuff of tabloid headlines, are the main themes of their compositions, which are inspired by their life in a working-class area of East London, where they have lived for all of their artistic career. In 2004 they began to use computers to create increasingly sophisticated allegories reflecting changes in contemporary society.

Selected Bibliography

Fuchs, Rudolf Herman. Gilbert & George : l'œuvre en images, 1971-2005 : en deux volumes. Paris : Gallimard, 2007.

Tate modern (Londres). Gilbert & George : [exhibition, Tate Modern London, 15 February - 7 May 2007]. London : Tate publishing, 2007. 

Rosenblum, Robert. Introducing Gilbert & George. New York : Thames & Hudson, 2004. 

Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris (Paris) ; Parent, Béatrice ; Chambost, Marie-Anne... [et al.]. Gilbert & George : [exposition, Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris, 4 octobre 1997-4 janvier 1998]. Paris : Paris-Musées, 1997.

Jahn, Wolf. Monarchy as democracy : On the tryptych : class war militant gateway by Gilbert & George. London : Anthony d'Offay Gallery, 1991. 

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