Gilbert & George – THE MAJOR EXHIBITION will be their first significant exhibition held in the Nordic countries during the last two decades and showcases pictures exhibited for the first time in Finland.
Gilbert & Georges’ art expresses their own array of feelings and thoughts. Their art is intended to confront, provoke, interrogate, disrupt, inspire, and even de-shock the audience. They prompt visitors to ask vital questions and reflect on their own lives and experiences, and of art. Whilst posing questions that may not be answerable they also encourage visitors to contemplate on the experience of looking at art itself. Yet it is an anarchistic seriousness that forms the essence of their pictures. It serves to engage viewers through contrasts, reversals, paradoxes, or just sheer truth. Gilbert & George are not only the creators of their art but also the central subject, or embodiment, of it. They consider themselves as one artist; seeing, experiencing and celebrating life with a singular vision. Gilbert & George are the art of Gilbert & George, and life of Gilbert & George is art.
To Gilbert & George, the social fabric of their metropolis is home to underlying tensions and contrasts. Inspiration for their art is drawn from life itself; their emotional experiences, the human condition and the restlessness of modern life especially that of London’s East End, where they have lived and created art together for over fifty years.
In their pictures brutal realism is mixed with the romantic and the archaic meets the contemporary; multicultural traditions, taboos, morality, systems of belief, religion, politics, sexuality, love, violence, poverty, and the global, virtual world. Their pictures reconfigure images of newspaper headlines, the Union Jack flag, excrement, religious iconography, sexual advertisements, street and shop signage, sub-culture stickers, violent swear words, and even street litter and leaves. THE MAJOR EXHIBITION will consist over 50 large-scale pictures spanning decades of their art from 1991 till 2016 in an installation filling the main, upper floor galleries at Tennis Palace. The exhibition continues HAM’s focus of showcasing major, solo exhibitions by internationally-renowned contemporary artists.
The exhibition is curated by Gilbert & George and Claire Gould from HAM.