The only paintings

Gilbert & George, always properly dressed in a suit, operate exclusively as a duo and can be seen together in performances, videos, films and artist’s books. In the winter of 1971 they create this series of six large triptychs of themselves, the only paintings in their oeuvre.


In ‘The Paintings’ (with Us in the Nature) they share with the observer their experiences of their stay in the countryside in the summer of 1970. The artists depict themselves in various poses in a lush, typically English landscape. Furthermore, they provide their ‘romantic sad, beautiful sculpture’ with a statement. Gilbert & George

Experience of nature

‘This sculpture we have lived. It was the summer of 1970. Then came the winter and we recreated these senses. (…) Whilst we enjoyed painting, our greatest pleasure was in seeing the sculpture coming back.’ With the necessary irony, Gilbert & George attempt to recreate their experience of nature, but simultaneously acknowledge that this is actually impossible.

Photo: Gilbert & George in front of “The Paintings” (with Us in the Nature) at the Kröller-Müller Museum, photo Walter Herfst