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What is Gilbert and George?



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A portrait of art duo Gilbert & George with insights into their artistic practice that explores the moods and feelings of a fast, volatile urban world.

Globally famous and relentlessly controversial, Gilbert & George first met in September 1967 and have lived and worked together as a single artist ever since. During the half century to date of their partnership, Gilbert & George have had major museum shows all over the world and been the recipients of honours, awards and prizes in many countries.

Provocative, visionary, timelessly modern, their art explores the moods and feelings of the fast, volatile urban world. Confrontational, shocking, poetic, their art has always spoken to youth, internationally, while describing so intensely the passage of time.

In answering the question posed by its title, and drawing on his twenty year relationship with the artists, Michael Bracewell is the first writer to engage directly with Gilbert & George to understand why they have devoted their lives – exclusively and continuously – to the vision of art they conceived within months of first meeting.

What emerges piece by piece is a portrait of Gilbert & George as two men who are infinitely more intense, strange, determined and alone than their longstanding public image suggests.

Accompanied by illustrations selected by the artists, the book provides candid insights into their working practice, East London, sex, Victorian art, nationalism and maleness, among many other subjects.

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November 2017




234mm x 156mm





No. of pages:


Gilbert Prousch was born in San Martin de Tor, Italy and George Passmore was born in Plymouth, England. They met in 1967 at Saint Martin’s School of Art when they formed their collective, Gilbert & George. They won the Turner Prize in 1986 and are known around the world for their relentlessly controversial art. Gilbert & George represented the UK in the British Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale. The duo has been awarded doctorates from a number of UK universities and were elected Royal Academicians by the Royal Academy of the Arts, London in 2017. They have lived and worked on the same street in London’s East End since 1968.


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