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IntroductionThe Daily Telegraph heralds Gilbert & George as the “Godfathers of British contemporary art”. Over the last three decades, their humorous, taboo-breaking works have risen to iconic status in the art world.
Gilbert & George became world-famous for turning their own appearance into a work of art. In their photographic work and performances, they combine art and life, artist and viewer.
In 1967, Gilbert Proesch, a South Tyrolean, met George Passmore, a Briton, at St. Martins School of Art in London. For their first collaborative art project, they painted themselves gold, got on a table and repeatedly sang “Underneath the Arches”. Since then, it has been impossible to imagine the art world without these two – no longer using their last names – as “Living Sculptures”. In 1986, they were awarded the renowned Turner Prize. In 2007, the Tate Modern honoured them with a retrospective: the largest solo show to date in the gallery on the Thames. At auction, their work now fetches six figures.
Since the early 80s, their montages have been marked by the use of luminous, glaring colours. The edition “Gingko Wingko” abounds with bright, colourful elements and depicts the artists in their customary bespoke suits. They are continually reinventing the way they play with symbolism and more striking elements. As stiff as their poses are, as rigidly as their gaze is fixed upon the viewer – that is also the extent to which their grimaces celebrate the chaos of daily life.
In 2005, the piece “Gingko Wingko” made its debut at the 51st Venice Biennial, where Gilbert & George represented Great Britain in the international art exhibition.Bio
Gilbert Prousch 1943 Born in San Martin de Tor, Italy Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany Studied Sculpture under Anthony Caro at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, UK Lives and works in London, UK George Passmore 1942 Born in Plymouth, UK Studied at Dartington College of Arts and at the Oxford School of Arts, UK Studied Sculpture under Anthony Caro at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, UK Lives and works in London, UKAwards
2007 South Bank Award 1986 Turner PrizeCollections
Museum of Modern Art, New York City Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao National Portrait Gallery, London Tate Britain, London Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City Museum Ludwig, CologneExhibitions
2014 Gilbert & George: Scapegoating – Pictures for London, White Cube, London, UK 2013 London Pictures, Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst, Duisburg, Germany 2012 Gilbert & George – London Pictures, White Cube Hoxton Square, London, UK 2011 Jack Freak Pictures, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany Gilbert & George: Postcard Sculptures, Robert Miller Gallery, New York City, USA 2010 Jack Freak Pictures, BOZAR Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium 2009 Gilbert & George, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France 2008 Gilbert & George, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York City, USA Notations: Gilbert & George, Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA 2007 Gilbert & George – Die Retrospektive, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany Gilbert & George, Tate Modern, London, UK 2005 Gilbert & George, Kestnergesellschaft Hanover, Germany 2002 Gilbert & George, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria 2001 Gilbert & George – Nineteen Ninety Nine, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA 1996 Gilbert & George, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, USA 1994 Gilbert & George - Shitty Naked Human World und Andere Bilder, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany 1987 Gilbert & George – The Complete Pictures 1971 – 1985, Hayward Gallery, London, UK 1985 Gilbert & George, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, USA 1981 Gilbert & George, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK Gilbert & George, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France 1976 Gilbert & George, ICA, London, UK 1971 The Paintings of Gilbert & George the Human Sculptors, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2014 Lens-Based Sculpture: The Transformation of Sculpture through Photography, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein 2013 Glam! The Performance of Style, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany Body Pressure – Skulptur seit den 1960er Jahren, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany 2012 Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, USA Tresholds, Tate Liverpool, UK Materializing “Six Years”: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art New York City, USA Artandpress, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany 2009 Play Van Abbe – Part 1 – The Game and the Players, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands In & Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art 1960-1976, Museum of Modern Art, New York City, USA 2008 Manifesto Marathon, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK Here Is Every – Four Decades of Contemporary Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York City, USA 2007 Multiplex: Directions in Art – 1970 to Now, Museum of Modern Art, New York City, USA The Turner Prize: A Retrospective, Tate Britain, London, UK What Does the Jellyfish Want? Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany 2006 Eyes on Europe, Museum of Modern Art, New York City, USA 2005 Big Bang, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy 2004 Head to Head, Tate Modern, London, UK Turning Points – 20th Century British Sculpture, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran 2002 Public Affairs, Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland Tableaux Vivants, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria 2001 Hypermental – Wahnhafte Wirklichkeit 1950 – 2000, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany 2000 Seeing Time, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany 1999 Out of Actions, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan 1998 Contemporary British Artists, Denver Art Museum, USA 1997 Old Friends Inside and Outside the Museum, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands 1991 Metrolopis, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany 1986 The Mirror and the Lamp, ICA, London, UK 1982 Documenta 7, Kassel, Germany 1978 La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy 1977 Documenta 6, Kassel, Germany 1972 Documenta 5, Kassel, Germany 1970 Information, Museum of Modern Art, New York City, USA