The art of Gilbert & George confounds and rejects all art historical classification or affiliation to other schools or movements in art. As affirmed by the thirty-five PARADISICAL PICTURES there is no formalist, aesthetic or conceptual precedent to the ideology and vision they convey with such intensity.
The PARADISICAL PICTURES are fantastical, allegorical, narrative, representational, psychedelic, absurdist, modern yet archaic, surrealist, grotesque, inflected with both tragedy and comedy, filled with pathos, touchingly eloquent of human frailty, age and exhaustion. The art of Gilbert & George is a visionary art, above all – reports from a cosmic journey through life that begins on the streets of London.
The PARADISICAL PICTURES suggest a chapter in a story that has been unfolding before them and will continue beyond them. This ‘paradise’ is not a destination but a stage on a longer journey. It is a dream of paradise and the exploration of an archetype that is both secular and sacred.
The paradise of these PARADISICAL PICTURES proposes a more ambivalent view – a place of biomorphic mutation, exhaustion, watchfulness and possession.
Published on occasion of the exhibition, Gilbert & George: THE PARADISICAL PICTURES at Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles (16 November 2019 – 25 January 2020).
Co-published with Sprüth Magers.