• works for sale from a private collection 28 July - 25 September 2020

    works for sale from a private collection

    28 July - 25 September 2020

  • Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong, is thrilled to present an extraordinary group of works by famed British... Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong, is thrilled to present an extraordinary group of works by famed British... Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong, is thrilled to present an extraordinary group of works by famed British... Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong, is thrilled to present an extraordinary group of works by famed British... Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong, is thrilled to present an extraordinary group of works by famed British... Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong, is thrilled to present an extraordinary group of works by famed British... Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong, is thrilled to present an extraordinary group of works by famed British... Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong, is thrilled to present an extraordinary group of works by famed British... Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong, is thrilled to present an extraordinary group of works by famed British...

    Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong, is thrilled to present an extraordinary group of works by famed British duo Gilbert & George, for sale from a private collection.  After meeting at the Saint Martins School of Art in London in 1967, Gilbert & George have been creating art together ever since, fully integrating all aspects of their lives into their art, dubbing themselves ‘living sculptures’. 

     

    Gilbert & George’s early work centred around performances and evolved into video, photography, drawing, and collage, typically inserting themselves into their work.  The duo take an anti-elitist stance to art and embrace the credo “Art for All’, as their works confront issues of social injustices, urban turmoil, politics, sex, religion, racism, patriotism and mortality.  The East End of London – where the duo has been firmly rooted since 1975 and can be seen strolling the streets in their matching tweed suits as they lead an ascetic lifestyle – serves as a filter and subject matter for much of their work. 

     

    Gilbert & George are most renowned for their large-scale photo-based works, collectively known as “The Pictures”.  In the 1970s they began creating assemblages of black and white photographs, soon arranging them into grid-like structures; by 1974 they incorporated red paint into their work; in the 1980s they introduced other bright colours and photographic techniques into their repertoire and adopted a more stylized and graphic appearance in their work; and by 2000 fully embraced digital technology in their output. 

     

    We encourage you to explore this trove of seminal works by Gilbert & George, ranging from the 1970s to 2009, that demonstrate the radically pioneering contributions this inimitable duo has made to 20th century art.

     

    All works are available to view in London by appointment. 

  • “Art and life became one, and we were the messengers of a new vision. At that moment that we decided we are art and life.

     

    - Gilbert & George

  • WORKS FOR SALE FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

  • Gilbert & George
    A Toast, 1973
    Gelatin silver prints in artists' frames
    7 parts, 51.5 x 180.5 cm; (20 1/4 x 71 1/8 in.) total
  • A Toast, 1973, is a rare and iconic early work, comprised of a zig zag arrangement of slightly blurred black and white photographs of Gilbert and George drinking, as part of a series meant to evoke inebriation and explore the role of alcohol in the lives of artists.  George commented on this series, "We could see that all the other artists were drinking, but during the day they painted a nice grey square with a yellow line down the side. we thought that was completely fake. Why shouldn't all of life come into your art? The artists drink, but they do sober pictures. So we did drinking sculptures, true to life." 

  • Cock, 1977, is one of 26 works from Gilbert & George's notorious Dirty Words Pictures series, which aggressively juxtaposed obscene...
    Gilbert & George
    Cock, 1977
    Gelatin silver prints in artists' frames
    16 parts, 242.5 x 202 cm; (95 1/2 x 79 1/2 in.) total

    Cock, 1977, is one of 26 works from Gilbert & George's notorious Dirty Words Pictures series, which aggressively juxtaposed obscene words found in street graffiti with disconcerting images of urban unrest and inequity, and bleak images of the artists themselves. These challenging pictures, directly concerned with the social and political turmoil of Britain in the late 1970s, as well as shifting views on sexuality, present the viewer with a multitude of questions, framed in stark black, white and often red, most effectively: What is more outrageous and shocking - social inequality or obscenities? In 2002, 25 years after this series was produced, all 26 works from Gilbert & George's seminal Dirty Words Pictures were exhibited together for the first time at the Serpentine Galleries in London.

     

    Many works from the series are held in prestigious museum collections such Cunt Scum in Tate, London; Angry in Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo; Are You Angry Or Are You Boring? in Stedelijk Van Abbesmuseum, Eindhoven; Cunt in Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Fuck in Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg; Queer in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Smash in Arts Council Collection, London and Suck in San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. 

     

     

     

     

  • "The figures that appear in the photo-pieces are selected precisely because they express the special vitality of those primal life forces - sexuality and religiosity - at their most formative and explosive states, namely, in the prime of youth. Like artists from virtually the beginning of time, Gilbert and George employ models and direct them in studio shooting sessions toward particular poses and expressions. The artists think of their subjects as material - a kind of clay to be moulded into a new image. The 'campaigning artists' view these youths that appear so often in their work as both knights and procreators, and they cast them as the heroes of their visual sermons, carefully composed narratives conceived as moral instruction." 

      - Brenda Richardson, Gilbert & George, exhibition catalogue, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore 1984, p.17.

     

  • Gilbert & George
    Street Meet, 1982
    Hand coloured gelatin silver prints in artists' frames
    28 parts, 241 x 350 cm; (94 7/8 x 137 3/4 in.) total
    • Gilbert & George, Bubbled, 1992
      Gilbert & George, Bubbled, 1992
    • Gilbert & George, Three, 1984
      Gilbert & George, Three, 1984
    • Gilbert & George, State, 1988
      Gilbert & George, State, 1988
  • From the 1980s onwards Gilbert & George’s work increasingly included photographs of young men. Street Meat1982, demonstrating the riot of colour that erupted in their works of the 1980s, comes from a series of photos depicting young men in staged, theatrical poses, casting them as ‘living sculptures’.  Three1984, is a similarly vibrant image of East End youths, poignantly and hauntingly depicted in a classical arrangement.  George explained that these photo-portraits were meant to counter negative stereotypes, particularly of an art world who “couldn’t handle works of modern art showing young people from neighbourhoods where they themselves didn’t want to live, where they wouldn’t even choose to go.”  Gilbert professed, “When using models, we devoted all our power to making them totally beautiful.”

  • "Modest yet seminal, the postcard pieces show the artists' progress from witty nostalgia to seemingly random scrapbook-like arrangements to increasingly striking fusions of form and meaning."  

    Roberta Smith, New York Times 

    • Gilbert & George, Mother, 1981
      Gilbert & George, Mother, 1981
    • Gilbert & George, State Coach, 2009
      Gilbert & George, State Coach, 2009
    • Gilbert & George, London Town, 2009
      Gilbert & George, London Town, 2009
  • The exhibition also includes three dynamic Postcard Art pieces; this body of work commenced in the 1970s and was revisited again in 2009, in which Gilbert & George assembled postcards in kaleidoscopic grid arrangements, grouped by both subject matter and formal qualities.  Gilbert & George's Postcard Art is a representation of the themes that have occupied their art for nearly four decades. Mother, 1981, comes from a series of images of the Royal Family arranged in the formation of a cross, while London Town and State Coach, both 2009, are comprised of postcards, flyers and telephone box cards arranged in a rectangle with a single card in the centre, referencing a sexual symbol utilized by theosophist C. W. Leadbetter.