ART OPENING: Gilbert & George SCAPEGOATING PICTURES for London @_WhiteCube Thursday 17th July 2014

f47df89ac37f673da451513e64d284a1_1
SWEET AIR SWEET AIR 2013 by Gilbert & George. Courtesy: White Cube 89 x 124 13/16 in. (226 x 317 cm)

f47df89ac37f673da451513e64d284a1_0
BODY POPPERS 2013 by Gilbert & George. Courtesy: White Cube 89 x 124 13/16 in. (226 x 317 cm)

Clad, 2013, by Gilbert & George.
Provocative … Clad, 2013, by Gilbert & George. Courtesy: White Cube

18th July – 28th September 2014 whitecube.com South Galleries and North Galleries, Bermondsey

For nearly five decades the art of Gilbert & George has created a visceral and epic depiction of modern urban existence. At its centre are always the artists themselves, who have dedicated their adult lives to their calling as ‘Living Sculptures’ – witness participants within the moral and vividly atmospheric world of their vision, as it is revealed in their art.

The ‘SCAPEGOATING PICTURES’ unflinchingly describe the volatile, tense, accelerated and mysterious reality of our increasingly technological, multi-faith and multi-cultural world. It is a world in which paranoia, fundamentalism, surveillance, religion, accusation and victimhood become moral shades of the city’s temper. Gilbert & George take their place in these ‘SCAPEGOATING PICTURES’ as shattered and spirit-like forms – at times masked, at times as grotesquely capering skeletons, at times dead-eyed and impassive. These ‘SCAPEGOATING PICTURES’ consolidate and advance the art of Gilbert & George as a view of modern humanity that is at once libertarian and free-thinking, opposed to bigotry of all forms and dedicated to secular realism.

Dominating the SCAPEGOATING PICTURES, becoming almost the imagistic signature of this new group of pictures, are images of the sinister bomb shaped canisters used to contain nitrous oxide, also known as ‘whippets’ and ‘hippy crack’ — recreationally inhaled to induce euphoria, hallucinations and uncontrollable laughter. Gathered by the artists on their early morning walks from the side streets and back alleys that surround their home, the presence of these canisters, mimicking that of ‘bombs’ pervades the mood of the SCAPEGOATING PICTURES to infer terrorism, warfare and a stark industrial brutality.

Echoing the maxim of the great Victorian architect, A.W.N. Pugin, ‘Not a Style, but a Principle’, the vision of the SCAPEGOATING PICTURES both affirms and intensifies the historically iconic art of Gilbert & George, in its tireless, emotional and profound engagement with the viewer and the modern world.

whitecube.com

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper'

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *