Gilbert and George – The Great Exhibition @ Astrup Fearney Museum
Gilbert & George are two constituents that form an artistic symbiosis the total of which is much more than the sum of its individual ingredients.
Actively challenging the status quo, the perception of what is acceptable and not giving a toss about conventions for over fifty years, they have never lost relevance and always blazed their own trail, which has not only opened but kicked down doors not only for new generations of new artists but also redefined how one can make the centre of one’s own art without falling prey to the notion of merely l’art pour l’art.
Two lives dedicated to not only art but living creativity to their fullest and a total commitment to their own version of truth – a reduction that resulted in enlightening and inspiring myriads of followers.
With large scale floor to ceiling artworks that run the gamut from surrealism to propaganda and ironically and at times sarcastically using symbols and thereby subverting and often diffusing their meanings.
Question everything seems to be the maxim of the two as they tackle wealth, sex, political and religious views in equal measure, while always retaining a sense of beauty and conveying emotion.
Eventually and early on, they became their own medium, the message and inseparable from their art, which resulted in performance art and them becoming centrepieces of their uniquely large and often brightly coloured complex images, often consisting of monumental mosaics comprised of big individual panels.
What I have always liked about Gilbert & George is that their art always allowed for the recipients to find their own truth, which they merely trigger with a visual impulse. In that sense, the viewer becomes an active part of the art and makes it even more interesting.
Gilbert & George The Great Exhibition is a collaboration between the LUMA Foundation and Moderna Museet, Stockholm in collaboration with Astrup Fearnley Museet and an ode to five decades of change and challenging taboos, morals and moralism.
Comprising works from the early 1970s to 2016, the exhibition and accompanying catalogue exemplifies in an opulently illustrated manner how Gilbert & George’s methods and emissions have evolved while using their own personas as object and subject.
An ode to some of the most visible artists on this earthround and another strongpoint of Astrup Fearney Museum after the recent fantastically curated Anselm Kiefer exhibition.
Curated by Daniel Birnbaum and Hans Ulrich Obrist, the exhibition will run from Sep 13, 2019 - Jan 5, 2020 and the limited catalogue can be obtained from the museum’s website.
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