They are among the world’s most iconic artists, and have been creating art together for fifty years, inspiring and provoking both art critics and public alike – a new exhibition currently on display at Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) features the work of Gilbert & George.
“Our pictures deal with the great universals: death, hope, life, fear, sex, money, race and religion,” said Gilbert & George. “This is your very first – and last – chance to see 100 of our pictures.”
Meeting as students of the St Martin’s School of Art in 1967, Gilbert & George railed against sculpture art movements they saw as elitist, such as minimalism and conceptualism and explored new ideas such as portable sculpture.
Turning creativity on its head, Gilbert & George surrendered their individual identities to become a ‘living sculpture’ and introduced the revolutionary idea of the artist as art. Only ever dressed in tailored suits and ties, Gilbert & George are known for their genteel, polite decorum. Everything they do, they consider art.
They are also well-known throughout the world for their large scale pictures which feature recognisable motifs such as the union jack, East End skinheads, bodily fluids, salacious news headlines, the Queen and images of the artists themselves. Much of their pictures are based on the life and times of our Modern World.
They say that each picture is a personal love letter from them to us, and a reflection of the human condition, addressing many of life’s essential issues: race, religion, sex, money, corruption, violence, hope, fear, addiction and death. Applying the philosophy of ‘art for all’, their art has garnered a worldwide following.
The artists’ retrospective at Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) will showcase ninety-seven pictures from 1970 to 2014, obliging a view of the modern world through the lens of their distinctive compositions. Is Tassie ready for them, and are they for Tassie?
“To make art, you don’t need objects, you just make yourself the object.” – Gilbert & George
Gilbert & George: The Art Exhibition
Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), 655 Main Road, Berriedale (Hobart)
Exhibition continues to 28 March 2016
Entry fees apply
For more information, visit: www.mona.net.au for details.
Image: Gilbert & George, Forward 2008. Image courtesy of the artists.