Gilbert & George - Photographs London Wednesday, May 20, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galleria Alfonso Artiaco, Naples

  • Literature

    Gilbert and George: Jack Freak Pictures, Zagreb: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2010, p. 121

  • Catalogue Essay

    "The ‘JACK FREAK PICTURES’ reaffirm Gilbert & George’s status as pre-eminent Modernists and underline Robert Rosenblum’s observation that 'of the singularity of their duality in life as art, there is little doubt'."

    Gilbert & George are among the most provocative artists to have emerged from the British art scene of the late 1960s. Satirists, polemicists and regal bad boys with a dress code have become an instantly recognisable brand. Together they have chewed and spat out most political subjects, economic, social and sexual, producing eye-splitting high-voltage works which embrace aspects of commercial advertising, pornography and physical theatre.

    They first attracted attention of art critics with The Singing Sculpture, which featured the Flanegan and Allen song ‘Underneath the Arches’, symbolising a harking back to pre-war England while giving a definite nod to the nearly extinct music hall genre, once enjoyed by all levels of the English social classes. Even in their most formative years, Gilbert & George identified with the fringes of society and have unwaveringly projected the ‘art for all’ slogan. Their concern with social powers of performance has been a strong thread throughout their career.

    Working as a pair and sacrificing their own individual identities, Gilbert & George envisage themselves as living artworks and place themselves at the heart of their creations. It is rare that you would ever see one without the other in any situation or without wearing their matching suits and ties. From the portal of vibrant gridded arenas, they use their unabashedly titillating style. They reach out to their audience via a contemporary hieroglyphic code, projecting feelings they consider to have universal significance, exposing the unmentionable, challenging boundaries and conventions not to shock but to exorcise and evict .

    The large scale photo-montages, as in this current lot, have become synonymous with their name. These works are overlaid with black grids or composed of individual panels which resemble giant stained glass windows. They appear to be back lit, giving a strong graphic punch and employing loud primary colours. Their metaphor is the bold employment of anarchy without inhibition. Whatever miming nonsense is going on, revolution is always in the air.


White Hands

Six chromogenic prints in artist's frames.
Each 75.6 x 63.6 cm (29 3/4 x 25 in.); overall 151.2 x 190.8 cm (59 1/2 x 75 1/8 in.)
Signed in ink on the recto; sequentially numbered '1-6' in an unidentified hand in ink, printed title and date on a label affixed to the reverse of each frame.

£65,000 - 75,000 

Sold for £68,500

Contact Specialist
Lou Proud
Head of Photographs
+ 44 207 318 4018


London 21 May 2015 4pm