new-york

Gilbert and George

Sonnabend Gallery

Gilbert and George are two Britons who, for want of materials and ready cash (we are told), turned in upon themselves to find the technical and formal solutions of their sculptural problems. George, taller and blonde, wears the blue dotted tie and Gilbert, shorter and darker, the brown tie; both stand upon a table in the middle of the gallery. The exposed parts of their bodies—heads, hands—have been rubbed with metal powders, bronze, aluminum, and gold, daubed and patinated as their jointly executed and foldable drawings are maculated and stained. Slowly, ceremoniously, they transfer articles of rank from one to the other, the glove and cane of the lost, class-based society. Alternating in their descent from the socle to reset the tape of “Underneath the Arches” over and over, hundreds of hours, thousands of times, the wry words and catchy tune are joylessly sung in tones of inaffectivity,

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