Gilbert & George | Gingko Pictures
LI (51) Art
2005 Gilbert & George Gingko Pictures exhibition, Photograph by Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd
© British Council Archives
For their exhibition in the British Pavilion for the 51st Venice Biennale, Gilbert & George have created a completely new group of twenty-five pictures using the advanced computer technology they have been perfecting for the last two years.
Gilbert & George have collected images of flowers and plants for many years, and trees, branches and tree blossoms have appeared in their work from an early stage. In the new pictures for Venice, leaves from Ginkgo biloba trees collected in Gramercy Park, New York, provide both a point of departure and recurring motif. No longer a rare species, today the ginkgo tree adorns avenues and parks throughout the world and can be found in the streets close to the home of Gilbert & George in east London. The tree is an object of veneration in the Far East, where it is associated with longevity and reputed to have miraculous powers, and these extraordinary properties act as a metaphor for the vital life-force which runs throughout the group of twenty-five pictures. The leaf divides into two, and this is reflected in the halving and doubling of imagery in the Ginkgo Pictures, with the predominance of the rich golden yellow in many of the pictures synonymous with the colour the leaves turn in the autumn months. The double image of the leaf and the symmetry of the pictorial compositions are in turn mirrored in the installation of the twenty-five pictures in the six galleries of the British Pavilion.
Commissioner of the British Pavilion: Andrea Rose (British Council).
Deputy Commissioner: Brendan Griggs (British Council).
Curator: Richard Riley (British Council).
Other British exhibitors
Northern Ireland - The Nature of Things
Wales - Somewhere Else
Wales Residency Project - Basta
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