For their first exhibition at Sprüth Magers in Berlin, Gilbert & George present twenty-five pictures from their 2019 series THE PARADISICAL PICTURES.

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE DANCE, 2019
Mixed media
226 × 505 cm
89 × 198 7/8 inches

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE DANCE, 2019
Mixed media
226 × 505 cm
89 × 198 7/8 inches

Gilbert & George
DATE DANCE, 2019
Mixed media
226 × 505 cm
89 × 198 7/8 inches

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE DANCE, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
DATE DANCE, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE DANCE, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
DATE DANCE, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE DANCE, 2019 (scale image)

Gilbert & George
DATE DANCE, 2019 (scale image)

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
LION TEETH, 2019
Mixed media
301 × 442 cm
118 1/2 × 174 inches

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE FUCK, 2019
Mixed media
151 × 190 cm
59 1/2 × 74 7/8 inches

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The works show Gilbert & George wandering through paradisiacal natural worlds filled with expressionistically-hued fruits, flowers, leaves, and trees. Each one is a cosmos in itself; together they form a spectacular vision of paradise that is at once lush and fantastic, with hallucinatory and psychedelic elements.

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
LION TEETH, 2019
Mixed media
301 × 442 cm
118 1/2 × 174 inches

Gilbert & George
LION TEETH, 2019
Mixed media
301 × 442 cm
118 1/2 × 174 inches

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
LION TEETH, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
LION TEETH, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
LION TEETH, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
LION TEETH, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
LION TEETH, 2019 (scale image)

Gilbert & George
LION TEETH, 2019 (scale image)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE FUCK, 2019
Mixed media
151 × 190 cm
59 1/2 × 74 7/8 inches

Gilbert & George
DATE FUCK, 2019
Mixed media
151 × 190 cm
59 1/2 × 74 7/8 inches

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE FUCK, 2019

Gilbert & George
DATE FUCK, 2019

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE FUCK, 2019

Gilbert & George
DATE FUCK, 2019

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE FUCK, 2019

Gilbert & George
DATE FUCK, 2019

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE FUCK, 2019 (scale image)

Gilbert & George
DATE FUCK, 2019 (scale image)

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The works show Gilbert & George wandering through paradisiacal natural worlds filled with expressionistically-hued fruits, flowers, leaves, and trees. Each one is a cosmos in itself; together they form a spectacular vision of paradise that is at once lush and fantastic, with hallucinatory and psychedelic elements.

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
SEXPARTITE, 2019
Mixed media
301 × 505 cm
118 1/2 × 198 7/8 inches

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
SEXPARTITE, 2019
Mixed media
301 × 505 cm
118 1/2 × 198 7/8 inches

Gilbert & George
SEXPARTITE, 2019
Mixed media
301 × 505 cm
118 1/2 × 198 7/8 inches

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
SEXPARTITE, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
SEXPARTITE, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
SEXPARTITE, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
SEXPARTITE, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
SEXPARTITE, 2019 (scale image)

Gilbert & George
SEXPARTITE, 2019 (scale image)

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Some pictures find the artists symbiotically merging with the natural world. BED-WETTING and CURL feature their disembodied eyes, noses, and mouths emerging ghost-like from layers of leaves to gaze piercingly at the viewer.

 

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
BED-WETTING, 2019
Mixed media
226 × 316 cm
89 × 124 3/8 inches

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
BED-WETTING, 2019
Mixed media
226 × 316 cm
89 × 124 3/8 inches

Gilbert & George
BED-WETTING, 2019
Mixed media
226 × 316 cm
89 × 124 3/8 inches

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
BED-WETTING, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
BED-WETTING, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
BED-WETTING, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
BED-WETTING, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
BED-WETTING, 2019 (scale image)

Gilbert & George
BED-WETTING, 2019 (scale image)

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
CURL, 2019
Mixed media
151 × 190 cm
59 1/2 × 74 7/8 inches

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
CURL, 2019
Mixed media
151 × 190 cm
59 1/2 × 74 7/8 inches

Gilbert & George
CURL, 2019
Mixed media
151 × 190 cm
59 1/2 × 74 7/8 inches

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
CURL, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
CURL, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
CURL, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
CURL, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
CURL, 2019 (scale image)

Gilbert & George
CURL, 2019 (scale image)

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

 

“The longer you look at these PARADISICAL PICTURES, the more they suggest a chapter in a story that has been unfolding before them and will continue beyond them. This ‘paradise’ is not a destination but a stage on a longer journey.” –Michael Bracewell

 

 

In other works, they move—sometimes awkwardly dance—through sumptuous landscapes, as in DATE STONES or TENDER, for example.

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
TENDER, 2019
Mixed media
226 × 253 cm
89 × 99 5/8 inches

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
TENDER, 2019
Mixed media
226 × 253 cm
89 × 99 5/8 inches

Gilbert & George
TENDER, 2019
Mixed media
226 × 253 cm
89 × 99 5/8 inches

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
TENDER, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
TENDER, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
TENDER, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
TENDER, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
TENDER, 2019

Gilbert & George
TENDER, 2019

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
TENDER, 2019 (scale image)

Gilbert & George
TENDER, 2019 (scale image)

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In other works, they move—sometimes awkwardly dance—through sumptuous landscapes, as in DATE STONES or TENDER, for example.

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE STONES, 2019
Mixed media
226 × 442 cm
89 × 174 inches

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE STONES, 2019
Mixed media
226 × 442 cm
89 × 174 inches

Gilbert & George
DATE STONES, 2019
Mixed media
226 × 442 cm
89 × 174 inches

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE STONES, 2019

Gilbert & George
DATE STONES, 2019

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE STONES, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
DATE STONES, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE STONES, 2019

Gilbert & George
DATE STONES, 2019

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE STONES, 2019 (scale image)

Gilbert & George
DATE STONES, 2019 (scale image)

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE HEADS, 2019
Mixed media
151 × 127 cm
59 1/2 × 50 inches

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE STONE HEADS, 2019
Mixed media
151 × 127 cm
59 1/2 × 50 inches

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DATE STONE HEADS and DATE HEADS show Gilbert & George becoming part of the plant kingdom themselves, here in the form of dates and date stones bearing their facial features. The choice of fruit is significant: While dates are associated with sensuality and are said to boost both libido and sexual desire, date stones have a look reminiscent of human excrement and feces. The artists had already addressed such socially taboo aspects of being human in their NAKED SHIT PICTURES (1994), merging religious iconography with images of human-sized shits and their own nude bodies.

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE HEADS, 2019
Mixed media
151 × 127 cm
59 1/2 × 50 inches

Gilbert & George
DATE HEADS, 2019
Mixed media
151 × 127 cm
59 1/2 × 50 inches

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE HEADS, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE HEADS, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
DATE HEADS, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE HEADS, 2019 (scale image)

Gilbert & George
DATE HEADS, 2019 (scale image)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE STONE HEADS, 2019
Mixed media
151 × 127 cm
59 1/2 × 50 inches

Gilbert & George
DATE STONE HEADS, 2019
Mixed media
151 × 127 cm
59 1/2 × 50 inches

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE STONE HEADS, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
DATE STONE HEADS, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE STONE HEADS, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
DATE STONE HEADS, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
DATE STONE HEADS, 2019 (scale image)

Gilbert & George
DATE STONE HEADS, 2019 (scale image)

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DATE STONE HEADS and DATE HEADS show Gilbert & George becoming part of the plant kingdom themselves, here in the form of dates and date stones bearing their facial features. The choice of fruit is significant: While dates are associated with sensuality and are said to boost both libido and sexual desire, date stones have a look reminiscent of human excrement and feces. The artists had already addressed such socially taboo aspects of being human in their NAKED SHIT PICTURES (1994), merging religious iconography with images of human-sized shits and their own nude bodies.

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George 
The Naked Shit Pictures
, Installation view, South London Gallery, September 5–October 15, 1995

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
SHITTY WORLD, 1994
Mixed media
253 x 639 cm
99 5/8 x 251 1/2 in

Details
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George 
The Naked Shit Pictures
, Installation view, South London Gallery, September 5–October 15, 1995

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
SHITTY WORLD, 1994
Mixed media
253 x 639 cm
99 5/8 x 251 1/2 in

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“This particular paradise inhabited or traversed by Gilbert & George, is a place where the very air is drugged. From picture to picture the artists are subject to biomorphic alteration into vegetable states – a turn of events that would be cartoon-like and absurd were it not so equally sinister.” –Michael Bracewell

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

 

Common to all the works is the motif of blossoming in nature—a joyful event further emphasized by the bright colors. Yet a closer look reveals that the flowers have faded; leaves glow in autumnal hues or lie withered on the ground; fruits have dried; the duo’s poses exude exhaustion and fatigue.

 

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
CHAINS, 2019
Mixed media
151 × 190 cm
59 1/2 × 74 7/8 inches

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
CHAINS, 2019
Mixed media
151 × 190 cm
59 1/2 × 74 7/8 inches

Gilbert & George
CHAINS, 2019
Mixed media
151 × 190 cm
59 1/2 × 74 7/8 inches

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
CHAINS, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
CHAINS, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
CHAINS, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
CHAINS, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
CHAINS, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
CHAINS, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
CHAINS, 2019 (scale image)

Gilbert & George
CHAINS, 2019 (scale image)

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
COTTAGE GARDEN, 2019
Mixed media
226 × 316 cm
89 × 124 3/8 inches

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
COTTAGE GARDEN, 2019
Mixed media
226 × 316 cm
89 × 124 3/8 inches

Gilbert & George
COTTAGE GARDEN, 2019
Mixed media
226 × 316 cm
89 × 124 3/8 inches

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
COTTAGE GARDEN, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
COTTAGE GARDEN, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
COTTAGE GARDEN, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
COTTAGE GARDEN, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
COTTAGE GARDEN, 2019 (scale image)

Gilbert & George
COTTAGE GARDEN, 2019 (scale image)

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The sepia hues and references to the natural world even bear a resemblance to the large scale, multi-part ‘charcoal-on-paper sculptures’ from the very early 1970s, notable for their somewhat pastoral setting, before they returned to the city as their subject.

 

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George 
ALL MY LIFE I GIVE YOU NOTHING AND STILL YOU ASK FOR MORE, 1970
(Gilbert)
Mixed media
193 x 75 cm
76 x 29 1/2 in

Details
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George 
ALL MY LIFE I GIVE YOU NOTHING AND STILL YOU ASK FOR MORE, 1970
(Gilbert)
Mixed media
193 x 75 cm
76 x 29 1/2 in

Details
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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
ALL MY LIFE I GIVE YOU NOTHING AND STILL YOU ASK FOR MORE, 1970
(George)
Mixed media
193 x 75 cm
76 x 29 1/2 in

Details
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
ALL MY LIFE I GIVE YOU NOTHING AND STILL YOU ASK FOR MORE, 1970
(George)
Mixed media
193 x 75 cm
76 x 29 1/2 in

Details
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Autumnal scenes of nature can be interpreted as a metaphor for the autumn of life, an eternal cycle of passing and reawakening. The pictures also allude to the process of aging, to the confrontation with one’s own transience—a theme all the more omnipresent and palpable in the wake of a deadly global pandemic.

 

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
ON THE BENCH, 2019
Mixed media
301 × 568 cm
118 1/2 × 223 5/8 inches

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Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
ON THE BENCH, 2019
Mixed media
301 × 568 cm
118 1/2 × 223 5/8 inches

Gilbert & George
ON THE BENCH, 2019
Mixed media
301 × 568 cm
118 1/2 × 223 5/8 inches

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
ON THE BENCH, 2019

Gilbert & George
ON THE BENCH, 2019

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
ON THE BENCH, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
ON THE BENCH, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
ON THE BENCH, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George
ON THE BENCH, 2019 (detail)

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin
Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

Gilbert & George
ON THE BENCH, 2019 (installation view)

Gilbert & George
ON THE BENCH, 2019 (installation view)

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Completed in 2019, Gilbert & George’s studies of the relationship between humans and nature take on new relevance and significance in the current context. The artists present a vision of paradise that is ultimately transcendental—a representation of how we might situate ourselves in the modern world, but also how we can change for the better.

 

Gilbert & George – THE PARADISICAL PICTURES – Berlin

All installation views © Ingo Kniest