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Photo by Timothy Schenck

Gilbert & George


September 2013 – October 2013

Billboard next to the High Line at 18th Street and 10th Avenue

September 3 – October 1, 2013

Gilbert & George are some of today’s most influential artists. Based in London’s East End, they have been two people but one artist since the 1960s. Creating their pictures in large scale, they have been composing images of our times and the western urban townscape changing around them. From the beginning, they wanted to communicate beyond the narrow confines of the art world, adopting the slogan ‘Art for All.’ They create each picture from many images that are superimposed in their studio. The subjects are taken against a black background and then the images are hand-colored.

For the High Line, Gilbert & George will present Waking (1984), an image populated by the young that represent the primal life forces at their most formative and explosive stages. Originally 36 feet long, the image shows the artists occupying the center of a symmetrical and intensely colored multi-figure composition. Around them is an assembled cast of youngsters. The artists – their faces transformed into masks by overlaid color – evoke a kind of inner awakening, perhaps the passage from boyhood to manhood, which the hierarchy of the three figures seems to suggest.

Photo by Timothy Schenck.

Artist bio

Gilbert & George (b. 1943, Italy; 1942, England) live and work in London. They began creating art together in 1967 when they met at the St. Martins School of Art and are well known for their Living Sculpture and large-scale pictures. Solo exhibitions include Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York and Hong Kong (2012, 2004, 1997); White Cube, London and Hong Kong (2012); the Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, Poland (2011); the Kroller-Muller Museum, Netherlands (2010); and the Serpentine Gallery, London (2002), among others. Major travelling retrospectives include Gilbert & George: Major Exhibition at the Tate Modern, London (2007); the Haus der Kunst, Munich (2007); Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2007); DeYoung Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco (2008); Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee (2008); and the Brooklyn Museum, New York (2008); China Exhibition 1993 at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, and Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai (both 1993); Gilbert & George Pictures 1983 – 1988 at the Central House of Artists, Moscow (1990); and Photo-Pieces 1971 – 1980 at the Kunsthalle Dusseldorf (1981); Kunsthalle, Bern (1981); Centre Pompidou, Paris (1981); and the Whitechapel Gallery, London (1981). In 2005, Gilbert & George represented Great Britain at the 51st Venice Biennale and in 1986 they received the Turner Prize presented by the Tate.


High Line Art is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art is made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr. and The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, and Vital Projects Fund, Inc. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. In-kind support provided by Maharam.

Space for High Line Billboard is donated by