A major exhibition of the art of Gilbert & George has opened at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco. Over 45 early and more recent pictures tracing more than 40 years of their careers will be shown in a presentation designed by the artists on the three floors of Villa Paloma.
The exhibition of pictures have been compiled from the collection of a family based in Monaco. The themes repeatedly address the NMNM, that of a ‘built’ landscape are the subject of analysis and interpretation for a society that constantly changes.
From this selection each viewer will see how the art of Gilbert & George comprises both a world of its own – intense, frightening, lonely, loving, abject, joyous, struggling, defiant, crazed, still, contemplative, vertiginous, desiring, modern – and a view of the past, present and future world.
Since first meeting at St Martin’s School of Art, London, in 1967, Gilbert & George have lived and worked together as one single and fiercely independent artist, dedicated solely to the creation of their art. They have no allegiance to any other trend, school, movement, doctrine, theory or style of art.
Gilbert & George already knew that they were seeking for a form of art that was to them entirely rooted in the real world – in the streets and clamor and traffic and buildings and hearts of strangers: an ‘Art For All’. Their art would be multi-allusive – reaching out to all of the mystery and passion and boredom and volatility of our modern urban world. Their subject was literally at their feet – along countless streets, the thoroughfares of the passage of millions of lives, and dense with the yearly thickening tracery of human existence.
They would celebrate the lost world of Imperial and Commonwealth Britain, chasing down its ghosts on old postcards and in war memorials, music hall songs and Victorian architecture. All that was rejected or outlawed by the rigid dogma of contemporary art as they perceived it: their art would embrace all that was culturally and aesthetically homeless, and all who were actually homeless or unheeded, cast out, fallen through the cracks of life.
And so for Gilbert & George, like the poet T. S. Eliot and the novelist Charles Dickens before them, the dark swell of London’s ocean of humanity would offer a subject that was at once local and universal, brutally real yet ceaselessly animated by instances of visionary epiphany.
Gilbert & George Art Exhibition at NMNM-Villa Paloma is an unmissable occasion to see Gilbert & George showing this unique collection of their art.
Gilbert & George June 14 – November 2, 2014 NMNM – Villa Paloma, Monaco