Pioneers of making selfies?

THE LONDON-BASED ARTISTS Gilbert Prousch (born 1943) and George Passmore (born 1942) first met whilst they were studying sculpture at the St Martins School of Art, where, incidentally, my mother created sculptures in the 1950s and early 1960s. From the late 1960s onwards, most of their creations have portrayed themselves, usually together, in an incredible variety of poses and situations. One might say that they were pioneers of selfie-making.

On the 1st of April, Gilbert and George (‘G+G’) opened their new establishment, The Gilbert & George Centre, in London’s Heneage Street near Spitalfields and Brick Lane (see I have yet to visit this new gallery, and look forward to doings so soon. To coincide with this new venture, the White Cube Gallery in Mayfair’s Masons Yard is holding an exhibition of works by G+G until the 20th of May 2023.

Called “The Corpsing Pictures”, this exhibition at White Cube consists of G+G posing as corpses in a range of different settings. In each picture, the two artists are portrayed lying as if dead but fully dressed in their characteristic smart suits. In many pictures, images of bones have been included in the compositions. At first sight, these pictures, which look like stained glass windows, appear somewhat macabre, but soon the viewer becomes aware of the playful and often punning nature of the images. Each composition is compelling visually and together the collection is a stunningly beautiful sight.

I suspect that the crowds at the Heneage Street Centre will be great for the first few weeks after its opening. So, if you want to see some good examples of the works of G+G without being bothered by too many other viewers, I recommend that you head for the White Cube in Masons Yard.

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