The Fundamental Picture, the latest series of thirty-nine works by English artists Gilbert & George will be exhibited simultaneously at the Lehmann Maupin and Sonnabend Galleries from 3 May through 28 June 1997. A fully-illustrated catalogue and CD-Rom will accompany this exhibition as well as a website beginning 9 May at gilbertandgeorge.co.uk. The opening reception takes place on Saturday 3 May from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm.
Gilbert & George have been collaborating since they met in 1967 at the St. Martin’s School in London. As students they adopted the form of “living sculptures” by walking through the streets and parks of London covered from head to toe in metallic make-up. Later, they moved their performances to indoor exhibition spaces and began touring internationally. From the outset, Gilbert & George wanted to collapse the distance between art and the artist. Since “Living Sculptures,” they have worked in a variety of media including books, film, and photo pieces which they also consider “sculpture” and, in doing so, have transcended the modernist tenets of performance and process art as well as conceptualism. Bodily fluids have served as inspiration for their latest work. By examining samples of urine, semen, blood and excrement under a microscope, the artists discovered an abstract vocabulary that is the basis for The Fundamental Pictures. The series contains different combinations of bodily fluids colored in striking flat tones, some featuring the artists. Using the most basic fluids of life, they have created a strong visual language which directly reflects their philosophy of art as a means of direct and universal communication. According to the artists, “We like it very much when the pictures take over...when the picture looks at you.”