Gilbert George to appear at the Tate

Amy Bourke March 6, 2007
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The art duo Gilbert and George will be signing copies of their new book at the Tate Modern on Friday.

The Complete Pictures contains 1,500 full colour illustrations and the two volumes come in a specially designed carry-case, priced £39.99.

There is a major retrospective of the British duo’s work showing at the Tate Modern gallery in London until May 7th.

Visitors will have the chance to watch a series of films and documentaries about the eccentric artists.

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.

They have previously described their meeting as “love at first sight,” although they refuse to answer questions regarding their sex life.

They established their reputation in 1969 with THE SINGING SCULPTURE.

Standing together on a table, they danced and sang the Flanagan and Allen standard Underneath the Arches – a song in which two tramps describe the pleasures of sleeping rough.

Gilbert George were invited to present THE SINGING SCULPTURE all over the world, sometimes for eight hours at a stretch.

Realising that they could reach only a handful of people at a time, they began to create films and pictures that could extend the idea of living sculpture without requiring their physical presence.

Gilbert and George’s work, usually brightly-coloured photo-montages on a black grid, resembling stained glass, has often been controversial.

They were some of the first artists in the 1970s to tackle the subject of sexual identity, and their work has also frequently depicted nudity, sexual acts and bodily fluids such as urine and semen.

The couple won the Turner Prize in 1986 and represented the UK at the Venice Biennale in 2005.

For nearly 40 years they have lived together in Spitalfields, London.

Gilbert George will be signing copies of The Complete Pictures on 9th March between 18.00-20.00 in the Level 1 shop at Tate Modern.

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