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Media Release • 18 Sep 15

Gilbert & George: In Conversation

Gilbert & George are among the world’s most iconic artists, and have been creating art together for fifty years. They will join Tony Ellwood, director of the National Gallery of Victoria, in conversation on Monday 30 November at NGV International.

Since the 1960s Gilbert & George have inspired and provoked both art critics and public alike, in their own words being ‘two people, but one artist’. They have gained widespread recognition and become international icons of our time.

Gilbert & George famously presented THE SINGING SCULPTURE, at the NGV for five days in 1973. Featuring the artists singing with their heads and hands coated in multi-coloured metallic powders, THE SINGING SCULPTURES established their reputation as a sculpture and their idiosyncratic lifestyle. They have been invited to present their art all over the world.

Meeting as students of the St Martin’s School of Art in 1967, Gilbert & George railed against sculpture art movements they saw as elitist, such as minimalism and conceptualism and explored new ideas such as portable sculpture. Turning creativity on its head, Gilbert & George surrendered their individual identities to become a ‘living sculpture’ and introduced the revolutionary idea of the artist as art. Only ever dressed in tailored suits and ties, Gilbert & George are known for their genteel, polite decorum. Everything they do, they consider art. ‘To make art, you don’t need objects, you just make yourself the object,’ Gilbert & George once said.

They are also well-known throughout the world for their large scale pictures which feature recognisable motifs such as the union jack, East End skinheads, bodily fluids, salacious news headlines, the Queen and images of the artists themselves. Much of their pictures are based on the life and times of our Modern World. They say that each picture is a personal love letter from them to us, and a reflection of the human condition, addressing many of life’s essential issues: race, religion, sex, money, corruption, violence, hope, fear, addiction and death. Applying the philosophy of ‘art for all’, their art has garnered a worldwide following.

NGV Members presale opens 10am Friday 18 September. General tickets on sale 10am Monday 21 September.

Gilbert & George: In Conversation with Tony Ellwood

Date: Monday 30 November 2015

Time: 6 for 6.30pm – 7.30pm

Venue: Great Hall, NGV International

Drinks available at bar price on arrival

Cost: $24 Member / $30 Adult / $27 Concession

Gilbert & George are coming to Australia as part of Gilbert & George: The Art Exhibition at Mona (Museum of Old and New Art) November 28, 2015 – March 28, 2016.