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Arndt & Partner open Gilbert and George’s Jack Freak Pictures in Berlin

Gilbert_and_George_Hoi_PolloiAs the international tour of the last Gilbert & George retrospective (2007–2009) did not include Berlin, Arndt & Partner are now presenting a solo exhibition of the celebrity artist duo in its gallery rooms behind the Hamburger Bahnhof. It is the first Gilbert & George solo show in Berlin for 14 years. The exhibition features a selection of 20 large-scale pieces from the Jack Freak Pictures, the largest Gilbert & George group of pictures to date. The thrust of the content is given by the colors and shapes of the Union Jack flag that dominate the bulk of the pictures as well as the recurring motive of medals, emblems and trees. In the Jack Freak Pictures the artist duo explores aspects of nationhood and of the sentient individual in the nets of society. In his essay published in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition the British writer Michael Bracewell describes these pictures as “the most iconic, philosophically astute and visually violent works that Gilbert & George have ever created…” On view 16 June through 18 September, 2009.

Gilbert & George, who met as students of sculpture at St. Martin’s School of Art in London 42 years ago, embarked on a joint artistic career that was to encompass a wide range of media from drawing to video and their trademark pictures. Further, the pair revolutionized the concept of sculpture by presenting themselves as “living sculptures” dressed in the quintessentially British tailored suit, shirt and tie. But it was their monumental trademark pictures composed of a gridlike array of smaller images which they began to create in the early 70s that first brought them international fame. Figures, cityscapes, symbols, plants, bodily fluids, excrements and text interlock in pictorial messages as visually powerful as their content is provocative. The pictures, which started out in black and white and later assumed increasingly luminous, bold colors, generally also depict portraits of the artists themselves and seize on taboo subjects like sexuality, race, religion and national identity with a brash and fearless candor.

The Jack Freak Pictures again feature the bodies and/or faces of the artists. In these compositions, their bodies function as stylized representatives of the individual in society, whose relationship to social norms and categories, to national, religious and sexual identification processes is relentlessly explored and commented upon. Departing from their earlier oeuvre, some of their new pictures split the raw images into much smaller fragments before merging them into new forms. The result is a fascinating kaleidoscopic mix of the monstrously grotesque with an intricate ornamental structure reminiscent of sacred art. In ever new variations, Gilbert & George order the signs and fragments of social life they find in their neighborhood – the multicultural East End of London –, where solidarity and friendship are as visible as intolerance and marginalization.

Gilbert & George
Gilbert, born in 1943 in the Ladin Dolomites, Italy, studied at the Wolkenstein School of Art in South Tyrol, the Hallein School of Art in Austria and the Munich Academy of Fine Arts before coming to London and enrolling at St Martin’s School of Art. George, born in 1942 in Devon, England, studied at the Dartington Hall College of Art, the Oxford Art School and St. Martin’s School of Art, where he met Gilbert in Anthony Caro’s sculpture class in 1967. They have lived and worked together in London ever since.

The duo has accumulated a long list of international distinctions and exhibitions at major institutions. They were awarded the Turner Prize in 1986, a prize they had already been nominated for two years earlier, and represented the UK at the 51st Venice Biennial in 2005. Solo exhibitions of their art have been held at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1971 and 1996), the Guggenheim Museum, New York (1985), Wiener Secession, Vienna (1992), the National Art Gallery, Beijing (1993), the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris (1997), the Kunstmuseum Bonn (1999), the Serpentine Gallery, London (2002), and the Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht (2006). Their second retrospective, which toured museums including the Tate Modern, London (2007), and the Haus der Kunst, Munich (2007), was on show at the Brooklyn Museum, New York, until the beginning of the year.

Visit Arndt & Partner at : http://www.arndt-partner.de/

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June 16, 2009 Posted by | Art Exhibitions, Artists, News, photography, raw art gallery | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gilbert & George Retrospective At The Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum will be the final venue of an international tour of the first retrospective in more than twenty years of art by the internationally acclaimed artists Gilbert & George. On view from October 3, 2008, through January 11, 2009, the exhibition comprises of more than ninety pictures produced since 1970, among them more than a dozen that will be seen only in the Brooklyn presentation.

The exhibition was organized by Tate Modern, London, with the support and collaboration of the artists, who consider this to be the definitive presentation of their art. It traces their stylistic and emotional evolution through their pictures and works in other media, ranging from Charcoal on Paper Sculptures from the early 1970s to postcard pieces, to ephemera, dating back to the 1960s.

Gilbert and George met in 1967 while students at St. Martin’s Art School in London. They began to create art together, developing a uniquely recognizable style both in their pictures and in their presentations of themselves as living sculptures. Over the forty years they developed a new format that created large scale pictures, which are visually and emotionally powerful, through a unique creative process. Most of their pictures are created in groups and made especially for the space in which they are first exhibited.

Since 1974 Gilbert and George have used their personal complex grid system to create their pictures, which are now developed with the use of sophisticated digital editing techniques. In the early 1980s they began to introduce bold colors into their pictures, with one or more pictures in each group that were created on a monumental scale. All pictures in a group share common motifs and conceptual and formal elements.

The artists’ art, which is sometimes seen as controversial and provocative, considers the entire cosmology of human experience and explores such themes as faith and religion, sexuality, race and identity, urban life, terrorism, superstition, AIDs-related loss, aging, and death. The pictures in the exhibition have been loaned from public and private collections in North America and Europe.

Included in the exhibition will be selections from the Ginkgo Pictures series which were part of the exhibition that represented the United Kingdom at the 2005 Venice Biennale; examples from the 1974 Cherry Blossom pictures: Finding God, 1982, a huge complex composition featuring images of the artists, several young men, and a cross; and more recent pictures, among them two of The Six Bomb Pictures, created for the inaugural presentation of the exhibition at Tate Modern, these pictures are intended by the artists to be seen as modern townscapes reflecting the daily exposure in urban life to bomb threats and terror raids.

Gilbert was born in San Martino, Italy, in 1943. He studied at the Wolkenstein School of Art, the Hallenstein School of Art, and the Munich Academy of Art. George was born in Devon, England, in 1942 and studied at the Dartington Adult Education Centre and the Dartington Hall College of Art, as well as at the Oxford School of Art. Both attended St. Martin’s School of Art in London. For more than forty years they have lived and worked in East London in a house on Fournier Street that they have said is, in many ways, a part of their art.

The exhibition is organized by Tate Modern, London and was curated by Jan Debbaut, Independent Curator, and Ben Borthwick, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern. The Brooklyn presentation is coordinated at Tate Modern by Rachel Kent, Exhibitions Tour Manager and for the Brooklyn Museum by Judy Kim, Curator of Exhibitions.

Gilbert & George: Complete Pictures, a comprehensive, illustrated two-volume catalogue featuring 1,479 plates with an in-depth analysis of the Gilbert & George oeuvre by the art historian Rudi Fuchs, accompanies the exhibition. In addition, there is a 200-page exhibition catalogue produced by Tate Publishing that features essays by Jan Debbaut, curator; Ben Borthwick, Assistant Curator at Tate Modern; Michael Bracewell, novelist and cultural commentator; and Marco Livingstone, art historian.

Gilbert & George is organized by Tate Modern in association with the Brooklyn Museum. The exhibition is sponsored by Altria Group, Inc. Additional generous support is provided by James Chanos, and the Lehmann Maupin Gallery, Sonnabend Gallery, Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, Millennium Partners, Francis Greenburger, Howard Wolfson, the Arline and Norman M. Feinberg Exhibition Fund, the Alvin E. Friedman-Kien Exhibition Fund, Andrew B. Cohen and Suzi Cohen, Leon and Michaela Constantiner and other generous donors. New York magazine is media sponsor.

The Brooklyn Museum

August 8, 2008 Posted by | Art Exhibitions, Artists, Books and Magazines, News, photography, raw art gallery | , | Leave a comment