01/04/2023 - 03/07/2023

Contemporary - Mixed Medium


Fri-Sun: 10-5pm

"Two men like the ghosts of old-style vaudevillians, dressed in varicoloured matching suits with collar and tie, pose in dead-eyed attitudes of shock and exhaustion within a violently coloured jungle world of monstrous decaying blossoms and vegetation. Their expressions are vacant, locked in dream-state. Here they dance a zombie-dance; there they gaze transfixed, empty-headed, or confronted deep within themselves by some new vision.

Then these men stare up at us with red demonic eyes. It looks as though they are drowning in a whirlpool of dead flowers; they become body shapes made of chain, their faces appear on date stones; and here they stand before us, in a formal pose, straight-backed, like other-worldly librarians, middle-managers of the dead, returning our gaze. They are stern and severe.

They look as though they are regarding us from another dimension. In their suits and ties – uniforms of respectable responsibility – they stand surrounded by giant flowers, by roses and their thorny stems, the petals of which are fleshy and wilting in sickly toxic shades of acid green, dusty pink, puce, scarlet, mauve.

Such is the world of the thirty five PARADISICAL PICTURES made by Gilbert & George in 2019. It is a world in which atmosphere doubles as event – a quality shared with the films of Alfred Hitchcock or early animated films by Walt Disney studios. Their heightened, saturated, violent, cloying colours convey hallucinogenic portent, unease – like musty-sweet sleeping gas."


Spitalfields 5a Heneage Street, London E1 5LJ