Gilbert & George: The Rudimentary Pictures

© Gilbert & George, Gum City, 1998, 338 x 284cm.


8 October 1999 - 9 January 2000

Gilbert & George are two of the most important artists working in the world today and MK G* is the first public gallery in England to be built from scratch in 20 years. It is appropriate, therefore, to open MK G with a distinctive, important and high profile exhibition. Gilbert & George are also seen as radical and outside the establishment, in many of the same ways as Milton Keynes is seen in comparison with traditional British cities. Both can be viewed as bold, new and progressive.

Gilbert & George: The Rudimentary Pictures, presents thirty-three new works, in which they explore such themes as alienation, sex, race, and human existence. Many of these striking pictures extend the distinctive range of images they have created exploring city life. In Gum CityCity SweatMoney CityBlood CityPiss CitySex City and Crying City, backgrounds of London street plans are combined with map-like microscopic details of blood, sweat, tears, urine and semen, together with themselves.

Speaking about The Rudimentary Pictures, Gilbert & George have said:

They deal with the thoughts and feelings that lie within us all and with the issues that confront us daily. Our cities, your tears, their money, the rain, our sexuality, your sweat, their views are all in The Rudimentary Pictures.

Commenting on exhibiting in Milton Keynes the artists said:

We are thrilled and touched that the Director, Stephen Snoddy has given us this opportunity to exhibit our new pictures in this exquisite gallery in Milton Keynes. The mere mention of the name Milton Keynes brings a smile of enthusiasm to the faces of our younger friends. It is very important that this young ‘Space Station’ of a city now has a building devoted to contemporary culture’. We are sure that it will be an exciting experience for everyone.”

Gilbert & George are among the most important and original artists of our time. They met at St. Martin’s School of Art in 1967 and have been living and working together in London’s East End for over thirty years. From their unique beginnings as living and singing sculptures in the late 1960s they have created a vast range of distinctive pictures, which communicate honestly and directly with the viewer about aspects of contemporary society.

Gilbert & George, who work as a single artist, have achieved international recognition with their exhibitions held world wide, including China, Russia, Europe and the USA. In 1986 they won the Tate Gallery’s prestigious Turner Prize award and their work is to be found in many national museum and gallery collections. The Rudimentary Pictures is their first exhibition in the U.K. since ‘The Naked Shit Pictures’ which were shown at the South London Gallery in 1995.

*MK Gallery was branded MK G when it first opened.

Press Release Exhibition Guide The Sunday Review List of Works