Caught on Camera
April 1976: Gilbert and George
Gilbert and George were present at the Albright-Knox in 1976 for the opening of their exhibition, Gilbert and George: The General Jungle or Carrying on Sculpting (April 1–May 2, 1976). The artist duo has worked together for the past 47 years. They are firm proponents of “Art for All” and believe that every faction of life has potential to be art. They have never adopted a singular style and employ all mediums, tending to blur the line between art and artist, reality and fiction, and life and imitation.
Their exhibit at the Albright-Knox showcased an environment of charcoal scenes depicting the two artists walking through the “general jungle” of life where “the people are all living near to beauty, passing by.” Their thoughts are conveyed in the handwritten captions below each work. In line with the artists’ philosophy of the melding of art and life, they allow their personal lives and thoughts to become available to the viewer. The twenty-three charcoal drawings in the exhibition ranged in size from four to fourteen feet across with a uniform height of nine feet. The works not only captured the artists’ figures and scenes from their lives, but enveloped the audience in awareness of Gilbert and George’s self-referential view of art, artists, and the world around them.
Content adapted from the exhibition brochure, published in correlation with the exhibition Gilbert and George: The General Jungle or Carry on Sculpting, 1976, and written by former Albright-Knox Curator Linda Cathcart. Images courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Archives, Buffalo, New York. © 2014 Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Top photograph by John D. O’Hern (Albright-Knox staff, Assistant to the Director, Public Relations and Publications).