Patricia Low Contemporary is thrilled to present THE CORPSING PICTURES, a new series of works by internationally renowned artists Gilbert & George. Across 17 new pictures, the celebrated duo are seen in confined spaces in a range of emotional states and among bones and other items, from chains and string to decaying flora.
Ranging in size, the works are arranged over both floors of the gallery. BOW CROSS, STICKS AND BONES and WALKERS (all 2022) measure just over three metres wide, their scale a marked contrast with the overall sense of close quarters. Across the series, we find the besuited artists in different configurations and wearing different expressions, by turns anxious, contemplative or seemingly at rest. Melding funerary themes with the duo’s music hall influences – corpsing is a theatrical term meaning to laugh or forget one’s lines on stage, or cause someone else to – the new works are both performance and sombre meditation, the artists’ famous ‘living sculpture’ haunted by mortality. Yet the pictures’ playful compositions — with the pair lying beside or across each other in too-small spaces, their feet seeming to push against the sides — bring a touch of characteristic comedy to the sepulchral mood.
Gilbert (Italy, b.1943) & George (UK, b.1942) have been creating work together since they met while studying at London’s St. Martin’s School of Art in the late 1960s. Based in East London, they have held solo exhibitions in institutions all over the world, including, among many others, the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2015) and Tate Modern (2007), while their most recent touring retrospective travelled to Arles, Oslo, Stockholm, Zurich and Frankfurt from 2018 to 2021. Gilbert & George were nominated for the Turner Prize in 1984 and won in 1986. In 2005, they represented Britain at the Venice Biennale. The Gilbert & George Centre is due to open in Spitalfields, London, next year.