Special opening during Brussels Art Days on September 7, 8 and 9
Albert Baronian is pleased to announce the return of Gilbert & George in Brussels with the presentation of 13 unique pieces from their last series London Pictures.
The series London Pictures - consisting of 292 new works - enables the city to speak for itself in the language of 3712 newspaper posters, one by one stolen/retrieved by the artists themselves for more than 6 years, and then sorted and classified by them according to subject. This method, in the words of the artists, allows each picture to ‘decide itself’ – its subject, title and size determined and denoted alphabetically and numerically by the findings of the classification process. In this, Gilbert & George have sought to eliminate the conscious act of ‘art-making’, asserting instead the reality, as reported by the print news media of London, that lies at the heart of their subject: the routine volatility of contemporary society. Behind each poster, however blunt or abbreviated, lies the truth and inviolable realism of a human situation, its impact and consequences. It is this truth that Gilbert & George have described as the ‘moral dimension’ that they must identify within a subject before they can engage with it within their art. Brooding and violent, at times absurd and at others disquieting, the London Pictures reveal what might be termed the nervous system of quotidian contemporary society: the impulses, outbursts, sorrows, hopes, temper and desires of daily urban life. The extraneous detail in these pictures is sparse and limited: the figures of Gilbert & George, their expressions at once stern or seemingly distracted; streets, net curtains, reflections in car windows. Within the townscape of this moral audit, the artists appear to pass like ghosts or seers, alternately watchful and inert, as though their spirits were haunting the very streets and buildings that these pictures describe. In this the artists have been inspired by their readings of Lord Dowding’s published accounts, as delivered to him, he claimed, by the ghosts of killed R.A.F. pilots, of an induction into the afterlife.
Gilbert was born in the Dolomites, Italy in 1943; George was born in Devon in 1942. They met in 1967 as students at the Saint Martins School of Art in London.
The exhibition is accompanied by an amply illustrated catalogue including a text written by Michael Bracewell, novelist and cultural journalist.