Artwork of the month September

Gilbert&George, The Red Sculpture Album, 1975


* 1943 in San Martin de Tor, Italy

* 1942 in Plymouth, United Kingdom
live and work in London, United Kingdom

 The Red Sculpture Album, 1975

11 hand-coloured photographs on paper, title page, bound, in canvas case,
ed. 95/100 39 x 51 x 3.5 cm each

The Red Sculpture Album consists of eleven hand-coloured photographs on sheets of white card and a red-printed title page, all bound in a book and stored in a canvas case. The photographs depict the artists in a nondescript white space. Their fashionable suits in a subdued monochrome hue and the neat hairstyles markedly accentuate the image of the classic gentleman, while also conveying a sense of anonymous uniformity levelling down all individuality. At the same time, the heads and hands of both artists are painted a strong red. A signal colour that artificially alienates their humanness, provocatively breaking down the conservative, rigid appearance and thus placing the scenes captured in the photographs in a paradoxical context.

In each photograph, Gilbert & George vary their "frozen" positions developed while in motion – be it standing next to each other in the same upright position, be it positioned at different angles opposite each other, stepping forward, looking at the ground. Beneath the photographs, each of the eleven sheets also features linguistic signifiers ranging from statements charged with meaning (for instance Dark Shadow and Human Bondage) and a conceptual thought and title (The Red Sculpture) to individual succinct words (such as Ready and Coming).

Gilbert & George refer their entire artistic oeuvre, which implies a host of different media – but also their life itself – to the concept of sculpture. Equally so in their early performances, in which the artists presented themselves as "living sculptures". With The Red Sculpture Album Gilbert & George translated one such performance of the same name enacted at the beginning of the 1970s, first in Tokyo and later in Europe and America, into the photography medium.

Denise Rigaud

<b>Gilbert&George, The Red Sculpture Album, 1975</b>
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein highlights a work from the permanent collection each month throughout the year. Works from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation are also included in this series on a regular basis.