PHILADELPHIA.- From the outset of their joint career, Gilbert Proesch (English, born in Italy 1943) and George Passmore (English, born 1942) explored and redefined photography as a medium while bridging the gap between art and life. Dressed in suits and often displaying decorous manners, the duo presents an image at odds with the brutal sincerity with which they expose their deepest desires and fears. Documenting the reality of daily existence through the lens of their unique sensibility, the artists present a poignant and all-embracing vision of life where marginality and drunkenness, unhappiness and despair, nature and beauty are tenderly revealed.
This presentation of large-scale photographs by Gilbert & George traces their stylistic departure from subdued black-and-white and monochromatic compositions of the 1970s to bolder clashes of images and colors of the 1980s. Constantly aware of changes in the social and political climate, Gilbert & George address head-on the burning issues of the daybe they social marginality, the AIDS crisis, or multiculturalismwhile at the same time defining a distinctive visual language. The quotations that unfold around the gallery space are by Gilbert & George, and their words address the viewer as directly and uncompromisingly as does their art.
A comprehensive exhibition of the work of Gilbert & George organized by Tate Modern in London is currently traveling in the United States. Its final venue will be the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, where it will be on view October 3, 2008, through January 11, 2009.