hamburg

Gilbert & George

Galerie Ascan Crone

Anyone who asked about the inclusion of women in “Art for All” might well have received a laconic retort from Gilbert & George: the pair would as soon have a fridge in their pictures as a woman. (These words were reported during the artists’ mammoth retrospective that traveled across Europe in 1986–87.) The new paintings (all works 1988) are still devoid of fridges. Instead, we find squeaky-clean female hustlers with skeptically yearning eyes (Being), and sumptuous panicles and umbels against a postcard-azure sky (Loves). We also see the two doyens of living sculpture in various leafy settings. In Pains, they scream while standing amid blue-and-red veined leaves: in Sting-Land, they gaze across radiant verdure, as proud and serious as the owners of a tradition-laden plantation. As usual, these photo pieces—are symmetrical, for, according to this artistic duo, life is symmetrical.

Indeed,

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