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THE BEARD PICTURES

THE BEARD PICTURES exemplifies Gilbert & George’s commitment to “Living Sculpture,” or an inseparable association between the world and their art. The pictures respond to the shifting demographics of our time, befitting the artists’ proclamation of “Art for All.” Viewers should not mistake this mandate for a democratic approach to art as a pleasantry. Taboos, fetishes, political upheaval, and the functions of the human body are some of the great unifiers of humanity, and Gilbert & George have long offered scathing and unsanitized views.

The British novelist Michael Bracewell elaborates on the sentiment of these latest works:

THE BEARD PICTURES are violent, eerie, grotesque, lurid, and crazed. They show a dream-like world of paranoia and destruction and madness ... a world bereft of reason, in which negotiation no longer exists. Gilbert & George take their places within THE BEARD PICTURES as intense, red, staring, empty-headed, and sinister versions of themselves … THE BEARD PICTURES turn history into a mad parade, their mood shapeshifting between that of science fiction, lucid dreaming, and Victorian caricature ... In this chaos of trashed aesthetics and reversed values, all has become symbol and surface: mad symbols, presented with deadly seriousness.

The massive pictures depict the artists in symbolic beards made from beer foam, flowers, and barbed wire, interspersed with imagery of street signs, graffiti, and ginkgo trees of our world. With this, the artists offer an allegorical take on the transformation and upheaval of the urban environment, and more broadly, our contemporary era. Few traits of appearance or dress offer such ripe interpretation for both the spiritual and the secular, the past and present, as the beard; Bracewell summarizes its iconography “as both mask and meaning: a sign of the times.”

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Date

Jan 10 - Mar 16, 2019

Contact

seoul@lehmannmaipin.com >

Photos

Installation view of THE BEARD PICTURES

Lehmann Maupin, Seoul

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Installation view of THE BEARD PICTURES

Lehmann Maupin, Seoul

Artworks

Gilbert & George > <

BEARDNEST

BEARDCAMP

BLESS THIS BEARD

BLOODBEARD

VOTE BEARD

Gilbert & George > <

BEARDNEST

BEARDCAMP

BLESS THIS BEARD

BLOODBEARD

VOTE BEARD

Artists