Gilbert and George are performance artists, creators of photomontage, publishers and filmmakers. Gilbert (Proesch) was born in the Dolomites, Italy, in 1943. Studied at Wolkenstein School of Art, Hallein School of Art and Munich Academy of Art. George (Passmore) was born in Plymouth, Devon, in 1942. He studied at Dartington Adult Education Centre, at Dartington Hall College of Art and Oxford School of Art. They met when studying at St Martin’s School of Art in 1967.
From 1968 they showed work and were living sculptures, their first appearance being at Frank’s Sandwich Bar, London, in that year. Many other appearances included Robert Fraser Gallery, Nigel Greenwood Inc and at Robert Self and Anthony d’Offay Galleries. They also appeared several times at Whitechapel Art Gallery and at the Hayward Gallery, 1987, as well as widely abroad. In addition to featuring in films and videos, Gilbert and George produced works in edition and books such as Gilbert and George The Complete Pictures 1971-1985, in which their art philosophy was expounded, seeking “to speak across the barriers of knowledge directly to the People about their Life and not about their knowledge of art”.
A typical Gilbert and George performance was miming an old record of Underneath the Arches while wearing their formal suits and ties, their faces and hands bronzed. Arts Council and other major collections around the world hold their work. There was a 30-year retrospective at the Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris, in 1997. They live in London.