Gilbert & George at the de Young Museum

San Francisco, August 2007—The first major retrospective in more than twenty-five years of the art of Gilbert & George makes its American debut at the de Young Museum February 16, 2008, after a European tour. With more than 50 pictures, from 1971 to the present, tracing the stylistic and emotional development of the artists, the exhibition is the largest ever to be mounted of their art.

Gilbert & George provides an overview of the dynamic career of the acclaimed duo, whose continuously innovative and challenging art has gained them wide recognition as two of the most important living artists on the international scene. Conceived and organized by Britain’s Tate Gallery with the full support and collaboration of the artists, this exhibition is mounted on a scale that is both unprecedented and never-to-be-repeated. Gilbert & George consider this the definitive presentation of their work to date.

Gilbert & George builds on the tremendous interest generated by their mid-career retrospectives in the late 1980s and the 1990s that brought their art to Europe, China, and the United States, and their art at the 2005 Venice Biennale, where they unveiled the Ginkgo Pictures, which will be represented in this exhibition.

While Gilbert & George makes a thorough presentation of the artists’ pictures, it also expands greatly into the other artistic media in which the artists have created since the late 1960s.

The de Young is the first of only three North American venues for Gilbert & George. Prior to coming to the de Young, the exhibition was on view at the Tate Modern, London, from February through May, 2007, Haus der Kunst, Munich, from June through September, 2007, and Castello de Rivoli, Turin, October 2007 through January 2008. Gilbert & George will travel to the Milwaukee Art Museum June through September 2008, and ends its international tour at the Brooklyn Museum of Art October 2008 through January 2009.

Gilbert & George: Complete Pictures, a comprehensive, illustrated, double-volume catalogue featuring 1,479 plates, with an in-depth analysis of the Gilbert & George oeuvre by art historian Rudi Fuchs, accompanies the exhibition. In addition, there is a 200-page exhibition catalogue produced by Tate Publishing featuring essays by Jan Debbaut, curator, Ben Borthwick from the Tate, novelist and cultural commentator Michael Bracewell, and art historian Marco Livingstone. Both are available in the Museum Store or online at

The San Francisco presentation is supported by Jim and Dana Tananbaum, Maurice W. Gregg, Marie and George Hecksher, The John and Lisa Pritzker Family Fund, and Paul Sack and Shirley Davis.

Gilbert and George
Gilbert was born in San Martino, Italy, 1943. He studied at Wolkenstein School of Art, Hallein School of Art in Austria, Munich Academy of Art and finally at St. Martin’s School of Art, London, where he met George. Born in Devon, England, 1942, George studied at Dartington Adult Education Center, Dartington Hall College of Art, Oxford School of Art and St. Martin’s School of Art. Since their meeting at St. Martin’s School of Art in 1967 Gilbert & George have presented themselves as a single artist and as living sculpture.

Exhibition organization
Gilbert & George is a Tate Modern, London, exhibition in association with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The curator is Jan Debbaut, former Director of Collections at Tate, and the exhibition is coordinated at the de Young by Daniell Cornell, Curator of American Art and Director of Contemporary Projects at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Schedule of events to date
Thursday, February 14, 9:30 am \ Press Preview
Friday, February 15 \ Members Preview Day
Saturday, February 16, 2:00 pm \ Chatting with Gilbert & George, with Larry Rinder in the Koret Auditorium
Saturday, February 16, 3:15 pm \ Book signing
Sunday, May 18 \ Final Day of Exhibition