Gilbert & George - Pictures, Art, Photography

Gilbert & George

Background Information about Gilbert & George


The Daily Telegraph heralds Gilbert & George as the “Godfathers of British contemporary art”. Over the last three decades, their humorous, taboo-breaking works have risen to iconic status in the art world.

Gilbert & George became world-famous for turning their own appearance into a work of art. In their photographic work and performances, they combine art and life, artist and viewer.

In 1967, Gilbert Proesch, a South Tyrolean, met George Passmore, a Briton, at St. Martins School of Art in London. For their first collaborative art project, they painted themselves gold, got on a table and repeatedly sang “Underneath the Arches”. Since then, it has been impossible to imagine the art world without these two – no longer using their last names – as “Living Sculptures”. In 1986, they were awarded the renowned Turner Prize. In 2007, the Tate Modern honoured them with a retrospective: the largest solo show to date in the gallery on the Thames. At auction, their work now fetches six figures.

Since the early 80s, their montages have been marked by the use of luminous, glaring colours. The edition “Gingko Wingko” abounds with bright, colourful elements and depicts the artists in their customary bespoke suits. They are continually reinventing the way they play with symbolism and more striking elements. As stiff as their poses are, as rigidly as their gaze is fixed upon the viewer – that is also the extent to which their grimaces celebrate the chaos of daily life.

In 2005, the piece “Gingko Wingko” made its debut at the 51st Venice Biennial, where Gilbert & George represented Great Britain in the international art exhibition.


Gilbert Prousch
1943Born in San Martin de Tor, Italy
Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany
Studied Sculpture under Anthony Caro at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, UK
Lives and works in London, UK
George Passmore
1942Born in Plymouth, UK
Studied at Dartington College of Arts and at the Oxford School of Arts, UK
Studied Sculpture under Anthony Caro at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, UK
Lives and works in London, UK


2007South Bank Award
1986Turner Prize


Museum of Modern Art, New York City
Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
National Portrait Gallery, London
Tate Britain, London
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City
Museum Ludwig, Cologne


2014Gilbert & George: Scapegoating – Pictures for London, White Cube, London, UK
2013London Pictures, Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst, Duisburg, Germany
2012Gilbert & George – London Pictures, White Cube Hoxton Square, London, UK
2011Jack Freak Pictures, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany
Gilbert & George: Postcard Sculptures, Robert Miller Gallery, New York City, USA
2010Jack Freak Pictures, BOZAR Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium
2009Gilbert & George, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France
2008Gilbert & George, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York City, USA
Notations: Gilbert & George, Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA
2007Gilbert & George – Die Retrospektive, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany
Gilbert & George, Tate Modern, London, UK
2005Gilbert & George, Kestnergesellschaft Hanover, Germany
2002Gilbert & George, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria
2001Gilbert & George – Nineteen Ninety Nine, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA
1996Gilbert & George, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, USA
1994Gilbert & George - Shitty Naked Human World und Andere Bilder, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany
1987Gilbert & George – The Complete Pictures 1971 – 1985, Hayward Gallery, London, UK
1985Gilbert & George, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, USA
1981Gilbert & George, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK
Gilbert & George, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
1976Gilbert & George, ICA, London, UK
1971The Paintings of Gilbert & George the Human Sculptors, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2014Lens-Based Sculpture: The Transformation of Sculpture through Photography, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein
2013Glam! The Performance of Style, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany
Body Pressure – Skulptur seit den 1960er Jahren, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany
2012Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, USA
Tresholds, Tate Liverpool, UK
Materializing “Six Years”: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art New York City, USA
Artandpress, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
2009Play Van Abbe – Part 1 – The Game and the Players, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands
In & Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art 1960-1976, Museum of Modern Art, New York City, USA
2008Manifesto Marathon, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK
Here Is Every – Four Decades of Contemporary Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York City, USA
2007Multiplex: Directions in Art – 1970 to Now, Museum of Modern Art, New York City, USA
The Turner Prize: A Retrospective, Tate Britain, London, UK
What Does the Jellyfish Want? Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany
2006Eyes on Europe, Museum of Modern Art, New York City, USA
2005Big Bang, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
2004Head to Head, Tate Modern, London, UK
Turning Points – 20th Century British Sculpture, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran
2002Public Affairs, Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland
Tableaux Vivants, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria
2001Hypermental – Wahnhafte Wirklichkeit 1950 – 2000, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany
2000Seeing Time, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
1999Out of Actions, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
1998Contemporary British Artists, Denver Art Museum, USA
1997Old Friends Inside and Outside the Museum, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands
1991Metrolopis, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
1986The Mirror and the Lamp, ICA, London, UK
1982Documenta 7, Kassel, Germany
1978La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
1977Documenta 6, Kassel, Germany
1972Documenta 5, Kassel, Germany
1970Information, Museum of Modern Art, New York City, USA