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Gilbert & George


Art for all’ is the belief that underpins Gilbert & George’s art. Their trademark format is the large grid, a square or rectangular picture broken into sections that becomes a unified field of signs and images.


Gilbert & George began working 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 work. The artists believe that everything is potential subject matter for their work, and they have always addressed social issues, taboos and artistic conventions. Implicit in their work 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 work, 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 work is the East End of London where Gilbert & George have lived and worked for over 40 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. Working in series, 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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Gilbert & George

Gilbert & George: THE GREAT EXHIBITION (1971-2016)

30 May 2020 – 20 September 2020 30.05.2020 – 20.09.2020
Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik (IS)

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