Artists Gilbert & George to open permanent exhibition centre in east London The pair have collaborated since they met at art school in 1967
By Ellie Iorizzo
Artists Gilbert & George are opening a free permanent exhibition centre for their personal and confrontational work in keeping with their “art for all” ethos.
The pair, who have collaborated since they met at art school in 1967, rose to fame as “living sculptures” and are known for their distinctive, suited appearance.
The Gilbert & George Centre, which is a registered charity, will be open to the public from April 1 this year and aims to provide visitors with the widest possible access to the duo’s art, with no admission charge for the majority of the programme.
The centre, located in a converted 19th century building in Heneage Street in Spitalfields, east London, features three “state-of-the-art” galleries over three levels of differing scale and feel, with The Paradisical Pictures as the inaugural exhibition.
Gilbert & George, known for being committed to raw realism, said: “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.
“Our art is the friendship formed between the viewer and the pictures. We want our art to bring out the bigot from inside the liberal and conversely bring out the liberal from inside the bigot.”
The works in The Paradisical Pictures exhibition show Gilbert & George wandering through natural worlds full of impressionistically-hued fruits, flowers, leaves and trees.
The duo said they envisage the Spitalfields centre becoming a leading cultural institution in London and a place for research and scholarship on the art of Gilbert & George.
It is anticipated that the centre will host one or two exhibitions a year showcasing both historical and new pictures.