The Great Exhibition
Gilbert & George have been creating art together now for over half a century. Their outstanding body of work is still as explosive as it is significant. The SCHIRN is dedicating an extensive retrospective to the visually powerful and sometimes provocative universe of this eccentric, London-based artist duo, showing works from 1971 until 2019. As both subject and object of their own work, Gilbert & George form a complete artistic unity that draws no distinction between art and life. As “living sculptures,” they embody their art and are both topic and focal point of their large-format collages and screened pictorial worlds. Their work revolves around death, hope, life, fear, sex, money, and religion. These are also societal issues, which they depict in all their contradictions: at once joyful and tragic, grotesque and serious, surreal and symbolic. The duo deal with everything that makes us uneasy. Their goal, however, is not to shock, but rather to make visible what is happening in the world, according to their motto “Art for All". From punks to hipsters, from authorities to outsiders, and from headlines to advertising—Gilbert & George have something to say about it all. By challenging our picture of the world, their works demonstrate, time and again, how forward-thinking they are.