Gilbert & George, George the Cunt and Gilbert the Shit,

Gilbert & George
George the Cunt and Gilbert the Shit
Magazine sculpture
Private collection

Gilbert & George, ‘Balls: The Evening Before the Morning After - Drinking Sculpture’ 1972
Gilbert & George
Balls: The Evening Before the Morning After - Drinking Sculpture 1972
© Gilbert and George

The exhibition begins on the concourse with a selection of materials from the start of their career, including some of the postal sculptures that they sent out to major figures in the art world, and the original layout board for the 1969 Magazine Sculpture GEORGE THE CUNT AND GILBERT THE SHIT. The photo-pieces on the wall relate to the artists’ intense bouts of drinking in the early 1970s, an essential part of their lives which they felt should not be excluded from their art. The Drinking Sculptures use fractured viewpoints and tilted angles to suggest the feeling of getting riotously wasted. The HUMAN BONDAGE series explore their experiences of squalor and degradation, with images arranged in the shape of a reverse swastika or fylfot. The artists were using this symbol to make a statement about inner destruction. In the DARK SHADOW pictures which followed, clearly set inside their home in Fournier Street, disorienting double-exposures and blood-like spatters continue the descent into darkness and depression.