Describing their relationship in life and work, Gilbert & George have said, “It’s not a collaboration. . . . We are two people, but one artist.” George, born in Devon, England, in 1942, and Gilbert, born in the Dolomites, Italy, in 1943, met while studying sculpture at St. Martin’s School of Art, London, in 1967. One day while taking photos of each other holding their small-scale sculptures, and then without, the artists realized that they could dispense with them altogether. What was most interesting was not the objects themselves, but the pair’s presence as “living sculptures” within the images. They summed up their newly conceived position as artists succinctly: “Art and life became one, and we were the messengers of a new vision. At that moment that we decided we are art and life, every conversation with people became art, and still is.”
While the art world around them in the late 1960s and early 1970s was largely characterized by Pop, Minimalist, and Conceptual art, Gilbert & George developed a wholly unique vision. Although they created their art in a variety of mediums, they considered everything they did to be sculpture: Postal Sculptures, Magazine Sculptures, Charcoal on Paper Sculptures, Drinking Sculptures, and Video Sculptures. Gilbert & George have created a wealth of sculptures in ways never imagined prior to their union, fully integrating their daily existence into their artistic philosophy.
Gilbert & George: The Early Years
September 27, 2015
MoMA Media Lounge
February 29, 2012–
July 8, 2013
November 16, 2011–
February 9, 2014
Contemporary Art from the Collection
June 30, 2010–
September 19, 2011
In & Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art, 1960–1976
October 5, 2009
- George Passmore has online.