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Take a tour of Gilbert & George's most salacious moments

The British art-making duo has never hesitated to cross the line into bad taste

By Howard Halle
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In their interview with Time Out New York, Gilbert & George mention a 1971 incident, which involved an art magazine censoring their works because they contained the words “cunt” and “shit.” That, however, was just the start of their career. Over the next several decades, they pushed the envelope of outrage with large-scale photographic pieces that featured their own nude selves along with scatological images of flying feces and references to blood and urine. Abject art with a generous helping of British cheekiness (in more ways than one), the work is designed to “bring out the bigot from inside the liberal and conversely to bring out the liberal from inside the bigot,” as Gilbert & George put it. With the current MoMA survey of their early work in mind, we’ve assembled this curated look at their mid-career walk on the wild side.

“Gilbert & George: The Early Years” is at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) through Sept 27.

Gilbert & George, Fuck, 1977
Courtesy the artists and Lehmann Maupin

Gilbert & George, Fuck, 1977

Gilbert & George, Shitted, 1983
Courtesy the artists and Lehmann Maupin

Gilbert & George, Shitted, 1983

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Gilbert & George, Faith Drop, 1991
Courtesy the artists and Lehmann Maupin

Gilbert & George, Faith Drop, 1991

Gilbert & George, Bum Holes, 1994
Courtesy the artists and Lehmann Maupin

Gilbert & George, Bum Holes, 1994

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Gilbert & George, Flying Shit, 1994
Courtesy the artists and Lehmann Maupin

Gilbert & George, Flying Shit, 1994

Gilbert & George, Naked Park, 1994
Courtesy the artists and Lehmann Maupin

Gilbert & George, Naked Park, 1994

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Gilbert & George, Shitty World, 1994
Courtesy the artists and Lehmann Maupin

Gilbert & George, Shitty World, 1994

Gilbert & George, Bloody Mooning, 1996
Courtesy the artists and Lehmann Maupin

Gilbert & George, Bloody Mooning, 1996

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Gilbert & George, Bloody Naked, 1996
Courtesy the artists and Lehmann Maupin

Gilbert & George, Bloody Naked, 1996

Gilbert & George, Holy Piss, 1996
Courtesy the artists and Lehmann Maupin

Gilbert & George, Holy Piss, 1996

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Gilbert & George, In the Piss, 1997
Courtesy the artists and Lehmann Maupin

Gilbert & George, In the Piss, 1997

See more Gilbert & George

See the exhibition

172.2008.x1-x2
Thomas Griesel

"Gilbert & George: The Early Years"

Art Sculpture

MoMA delves into its holdings of the early career of the famed Brit "living sculptures" for a show of works completed between 1969 and 1980. Photos, videos, drawings and assorted ephemera are on tap.

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