Gilbert & George

Biography of Gilbert & George

Always formal, never elitist; the artists Gilbert Prousch (born 1943 in San Martin de Tor, IT) and George Passmore (born 1942 in Plymouth, UK) are better known together as the suit-dawning artist duo Gilbert & George. Foregoing their individual identities, the artists adopted a collective persona under which they perform and exhibit called Gilbert & George. The artists consider themselves a “living sculpture” for which their life is their oeuvre and anything is a potential subject matter—nationality, sex, politics, fear, class—all have been touched upon by the artists.

While Gilbert & George’s works span a variety of media ranging from performance to charcoal drawings, the duo consistently refers to their highly graphic body of work as sculpture. Their confident use of luminous saturated color harmonies and bold outline recall stained glass or the patterning of national flags. Gilbert & George’s multiples range from objects with direct correlation to their performances—such as Reclining Drunk, 1973 a crushed Gordon’s gin bottle from their video Gordon’s make us drunk, 1972—or more recently their use of digital media to distort images of their bodies in order to create new geometric shapes and messages.

Together Gilbert & George have participated in many historic group exhibitions including the first Turner Prize exhibition (1984) where they were shortlisted, Carnegie International (1985), awarded the Turner Prize (1986) and the 51st International Venice Biennale (2005). They have had extensive solo exhibitions including most recently at Serpentine Gallery, London (2002); Tate Modern, London (2007); Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York (2008); Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels (2010), Kunstmuseum Linz (2011) and Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (2014).

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