This autumn Gilbert & George are showing The General Jungle or Carrying on Sculpting which is comprised of twenty-three monumental, multi-panel pieces, one of the earliest manifestations of their ‘Art for All’ philosophy, reinforcing their reputation as ‘living sculptures’ – an identity and belief maintained by the artists since they met at St Martin’s School of Art, London, fifty years ago this September.
IS NOT ART THE ONLY HOPE FOR THE MAKING WAY FOR THE MODERN WORLD TO ENJOY THE SOPHISTICATION OF DECADENT LIVING EXPRESSION , 1971, charcoal on paper sculpture, 110 1/4 x 177 1/8 inches (280 x 450 cm). Private collection. Photo by Stephen White. © 2017 Gilbert & George ?
Opening at Lévy Gorvy London on 13 September, The General Jungle or Carrying on Sculpting will feature early charcoal-on-paper ‘sculptures’ by the renowned artist duo, on view in its Old Bond Street location until 18 November. This will be the first exhibition in the United Kingdom to feature this seminal body of work, which was first presented at the Sonnabend Gallery, New York, in 1971, as the atmospheric backdrop to one of their most celebrated works, The Singing Sculpture .
‘We are thrilled to bring this important work to the United Kingdom, where the sculptures were made but have never before been exhibited,’ said Lock Kresler, Senior Director of Lévy Gorvy London. ‘This exhibition features loans from MAXXI, Rome and The Sonnabend Collection Foundation, The Estate of Nina Sundell, and Antonio Homem, as well as other important lenders. We are especially thankful to these partners, as well as to Gilbert & George, who have been instrumental in making this reunion possible.’
Gilbert & George: The General Jungle or Carrying on Sculpting 13 September – 18 November 2017
Opening Reception: 12 September, 6-8pm Lévy Gorvy London www.levygorvy.com
About the Artists
Gilbert Prousch (b. 1943, Dolomites, Italy) and George Passmore (b. 1942, Devon, England) met at St Martin’s School of Art, London, in 1967. They were both enrolled in the sculpture department and formed an early alliance, in opposition to the Minimal and Conceptual ideologies prevalent among their contemporaries—developing an ‘Art for All’ mantra instead. They soon realised that they were their art, and have been operating as ‘living sculptures’ ever since—sacrificing their individual identities in order to devote themselves to a more democratic art practice. Working across a variety of media (with the gridded ‘photo-work’ becoming their signature format), they have taken life to be their primary subject, placing taboos such as sex, religion, race, and class at the heart of their work. In 1968, they established their studio at 12 Fournier Street in London’s East End, where they continue to live and work today.
Gilbert & George were awarded the Turner Prize in 1986, and represented Great Britain at the 51st International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2005. In 2011, they received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Museum, New York. They have exhibited at institutions around the world, with recent presentations including Scapegoating Pictures, Ludwig Museum, Budapest (2017); Luther und Die Avant Garde, St Matthew’s Church, Berlin (2017); The Early Years, the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015); and The Art Exhibition, the Museum of Old and New Art, Berriedale, Tasmania (2015). Their works can be found in the permanent collections of major international museums, including: Tate Modern, London; the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Cleveland useum of Art; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, among many others.