A new gallery celebrating the work of collaborative art duo Gilbert & George is to open in London this April.
The Gilbert & George Centre is set in a Spitalfields courtyard in London, and is expected to host one to two exhibitions a year showcasing both historical and new pictures by the artists.
In 2015 the Trustees of the museum, which include the artists, acquired the Heneage Street building. Records suggest the building was bought for approximately £5m. A former industrial building neary the home and studio of the artists, the goal of the acquisition was to create a permanent home for works of the artists.
The building has been designed by SIRS Architects in collaboration with the artists, and comprises three exhibition spaces over three levels, spanning a total of 280 m2.
The building also includes an entry through a cobbled courtyard, and a reception area which has been designed to be reminiscent of Gilbert & George’s nearby, restored Georgian home and studio on Fournier Street.
The Centre was originally established as a registered charity in 2009 with the objective to advance the education of the public in the arts, and for the preservation – after the deaths of George & Gilbert – of the properties in Fournier Street occupied by them and the collections, archives and works of art created by them.
As part of the exhibition programme, The Gilbert & George Centre said it will work with Community and Education groups to ensure that a broad demographic is engaged with The Centre.
In keeping with an ethos the artists call ‘Art for All’, there is no intention to charge members of the public for admission to the majority of the programme.
In the words of the artist, “London is such a changing global population every day, and if somebody comes from Venezuela or from Wolverhampton, there will be a place in London where they can see our pictures, and for everyone to convene from across the world to see the art of Gilbert & George.”
On April 1st 2023 it will open its inaugural exhibition, ‘THE PARADISICAL PICTURES’, exhibited in London for the first time. It will feature thirty five pictures made by Gilbert & George in 2019.
Museum Trustee Michael Bracewell said of the opening exhibition: “Gilbert & George take their place in this disquieting vision of a heavenly place in a manner resembling psychical reports or transmissions from a journey deep into an enchanted forest or overgrown park.”