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PRINT Summer 1984

GILBERT & GEORGE: SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL

THE EXHIBITION “GILBERT & GEORGE,” organized by Brenda Richardson and shown this spring at the Baltimore Museum of Art, gives us an opportunity to look sideways at a body of work that has, over the past fifteen years, been presented frontally, both in content and in scale. From the perspective of the implosive ’80s we can view work that has assaulted and confronted us for over a decade. From their picturesque styled images of communion with the second nature of the English countryside, through the swirls of darkness in the ellipse of intoxication, and into the cold, clear “day after” of the “Red Morning” series, 1977, we follow, intoxicated, as art follows life—but with the incontrovertible certainty of the hangover.

Show follows show; each series is, in many ways, a simple public work produced to the deadline of the next exhibition. Since the mid ’70s there has been a flexing of a particular

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