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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Gilbert&George Major Exhibition until 7.05. Tate Modern, London


Gilbert & George place themselves at the centre of their art, and almost all of the images they use are gathered in the half-mile or so surrounding their home in London’s East End. Yet their pictures capture a universal human experience, encompassing an astonishing range of emotions and themes, from rural idylls to gritty images of a decaying London; from fantastical brightly-coloured panoramas to raw examinations of humanity stripped bare; from sex advertisements to religious fundamentalism.

From the beginning, they wanted to communicate beyond the narrow confines of the art world, adopting the slogan 'Art for All'. As a result they have joined the very small handful of artists to become household names, and their impeccably-dressed figures are instantly recognisable to the general public. Bringing together a selection of pictures that spans their entire 40-year career, it is fitting that Gilbert & George: Major Exhibition is the largest retrospective of any artist to be held at Tate Modern.

George was born in Devon in 1942. Gilbert was born in Italy in 1943, in a small village in the Dolomites. They met as students on the sculpture course at St Martins School of Art, London, where they exhibited together and soon began to create art together. They adopted the identity of 'living sculptures' in both their art and their daily lives, becoming not only creators, but also the art itself.

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