Image: The Gilbert & George Centre opens to the public
Gilbert & George in front of the gates of the Gilbert & George Centre, 2023
Artists' News

The Gilbert & George Centre opens to the public

15 February 2023

Our art is the friendship formed between the viewer and the pictures 
– Gilbert & George

Artist duo Gilbert & George will open their Centre to the public on 1 April 2023 in Heneage Street, Spitalfields, London. Underpinned by the artists’ ethos ‘Art for All’, the space will become a permanent home for Gilbert & George’s artistic legacy and is committed to providing visitors with the widest possible access to their historical and new pictures.

Opening in London for the first time, the exhibition THE PARADISICAL PICTURES will mark the inauguration of The Gilbert & George Centre. The works depict the artists inhabiting a heavenly place in a manner that resembles psychical reports or transmissions from a journey deep into an enchanted forest or overgrown park. It is as though a psychedelic landscape, more given to poetic realism and Arthurian legend, had secretly envisioned science fiction.  

From picture to picture, Gilbert & George are subject to biomorphic alteration into vegetable states – a turn of events that would be cartoon-like and absurd were it not so equally sinister. Their dead yet watchful eyes stare sleeplessly from grotesque detritus of fruits and flowers; from masks of dead leaves – details of spirit faces, as the artist themselves are seen first pursued by unseen wonders or horrors, then finally exhausted, worn out, in a sleep that seems to promise no rest.

We will start with THE PARADISICAL PICTURES because we realise that most people think of paradise as ‘the after party’ and we think of this as the pre-cum party.
– Gilbert & George

Designed by SIRS Architects in collaboration with Gilbert & George, the Centre has been planned through an approach that considers the sustainability of the building in its broadest sense and comprises three 280 m2 of exhibition space over three levels of differing scale and feel. Visitors will enter through a secluded cobbled courtyard to the reception area reminiscent of the artists’ restored Georgian home and studio on Fournier Street.  

Managed by a Board of Trustees, the Centre has been projected to become a leading cultural institution in London as well as a place for research and scholarship on Gilbert & George’s practice and will host one or two exhibitions a year. The space embeds the artists’ aesthetic vision, which brings together sensitivity to the conversion of a 19th-century building in keeping with the artists’ view of London’s architecture as the legacy of the city while creating contemporary exhibition spaces suitable for their art. 

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