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  • Provenance

    Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London

  • Exhibited

    Eindhoven, Stedelijk, 1980; Düsseldorf, Kunsthalle, 1981; Bern, Kunsthalle, 1981; Paris, Centre Pompidou, 1981; London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1981; Paris, Chantal Crousel Gallery, 1981, Photo Pieces 1971-1980
    CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, May 9 – September 7, 1996; Kunsthalle Basel, September 28 – November 6, 1986; Brussels, Palais des Beaux Arts, November 21 – January 11, 1987; Madrid, Palacio de Velazquez, Parque del Reltiro, February 4 – March 29, 1987; Munich, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, April 15 – June 14, 1987; London, Hayward Gallery, July 9 – September 26, 1987 Gilbert & George: The Complete Pictures 1971-1985, p. 134 (illustrated)
    Oslo, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Gilbert & George 1970 – 1997, April 17 – June 20, 1999, cat. no. 25
    Annecy, Chäteau d’Arenton Foundation pour l’Art Contemporain, Gilbert & George, June 27 – September 30, 2001
    Lisbon, Fundacao Centro Cultural de Belém, A arte de Gilbert & George, need dates 2001

  • Literature

    Gilbert and George and C. Ratcliff, Gilbert & George: The Complete Pictures 1971-1985, Stuttgart, 1986, p. 134 (illustrated)
    W. Jahn, The Art of Gilbert + George, London, 1989, p. 276 and p. 291 (illustrated)
    Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, ed., Gilbert & George 1970 – 1997, Oslo, 1999, cat. no. 25
    Foundation pour l’Art Contemporain, ed., Gilbert & George, Annecy, 2001, p. 43
    Fundacao Centro Cultural de Belém, ed., A arte de Gilbert & George, Lisbon, 2001, n.p. (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “In Black Buds, four branches in a row rise from below the tightly closed buds at their ends. None of the stages of the tree’s life—seed, blossom, leaf, or their successive withering—is shown here. Both title and picture emphasize the buds in their black; i.e. unevolved, state. They enclose, but they do not imprison: they encapsulate a flowering that is to come. All four have been carefully chosen for their form, and specifically for the arrangement of their buds. The one on the far left has its bud positioned differently from, for instance, the second from the right. All four, in their diversity, point to a coming diversity of manifestations of life. The buds are black because their life is not yet visible, but they reveal its first lineaments as in a silhouette… Both pictures emphasize the head, the uppermost and crowning extremity of an organism; both also suggest the ‘architecture’ of life—branch or body—which supports it. In both cases, however, the head as such is invisible, because it remains in a unevolved and undifferentiated state—the state that Gilbert & George denote simply by ‘black’. Not that black represents a void; that would be going too far. What can be seen here is the germ of future paintings, their colour and differentiation still unmanifest. Black Buds hold the promise of diversity of life.” (W. Jahn, The Art of Gilbert & George, London, 1989, pp. 276-277)


Black Buds (in 16 parts)

Sixteen black and white photographs in artist’s frames.
95 x 79 in. (241.3 x 200.7 cm).
Signed, titled and dated “Black Buds Gilbert and George 1980” on lower right panel.

$150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for $240,000

Contemporary Art Part I

16 Nov 2006, 7pm
New York