Magazine
Latest Issue

Private view

Gilbert and George are the godfathers of modern British art. Without them, the trite messages and facile innuendo of Britart would have been unthinkable

By Ben Lewis   March 2006

I recently received an email from the White Cube gallery inviting me to see the new pictures by Gilbert and George, which were, they said, “lustrous, ornate, pictorially complex, vividly coloured, yet suffused with tenebrous solemnity.” Imagine my surprise then, as I entered the gallery and beheld what were—even by the diabolically low standards established by the YBAs in the 1990s—the most empty-headed artworks produced in Britain in living memory. The only thing they had in common with the text of the gallery’s email was absurd hyperbole. It left me wondering: what makes Gilbert and George so bad?

Gilbert and…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect