Ocula Magazine   |   News   |   Artists

The Royal Academy described the decision as regrettable.

Gilbert & George Resign From Royal Academy of Art

Gilbert & George. Courtesy the artists and Lehmann Maupin, New York/Hong Kong. Photo: BFA, New York.

British artists Gilbert Proesch and George Passmore, better known as Gilbert & George, have quit the exclusive Royal Academy of Art (RA) after the private institution cancelled a planned exhibition of their work.

The last time an artist resigned from the RA was in 2005, when Peter Blake quit in protest of the expulsion of Brendan Neiland, former director of the RA school.

A spokesperson for the RA told the Observer that the resignation of Gilbert and George was regrettable but decisions had to be made about which academicians could have shows when.

The Royal Academy's exhibition calendar has been significantly disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. A Léon Spilliaert exhibition is temporarily closed, a Rita Angus show has been postponed, and Angelica Kauffman and Paul Cézanne exhibitions have been cancelled.

Founded by King George III in 1768, the Royal Academy currently consists of 77 artists and architects under the age of 75. Members include Anish Kapoor, Tracey Emin, Michael Craig-Martin, David Hockney and Tony Cragg. Gilbert, 76, & George, 78, were elected to the academy as a single artist in 2017, and had become 'senior academicians' when they quit.

The decision to leave the RA is in keeping with Gilbert & George's posture as art world outsiders—conceptual artists with working class backgrounds and contrarian, conservative politics. Speaking to Ocula Magazine in 2017, Gilbert said, 'We try to make a more personal art that's not part of the inner circle of art.'

The artists have been active during the lockdown, posting video diaries on White Cube gallery's Instagram. Their zany but dry mini-performances include Our New Normal Walk (2020), a stiff, besuited march around a table. —[O]

Ocula Logo
Follow Gilbert & George
Stay Ahead.
Receive updates on new artworks
exhibitions and articles.
Your personal data is held in accordance with our privacy policy.
Follow
Do you have an Ocula account?
Get Access
Subscribe me to the Ocula newsletter.
I agree to Ocula's Terms & Conditions.
Your personal data is held in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
Do you have an Ocula account? Login
Thank you for joining us. Just one more thing...
Soon you will receive an email asking you to complete registration. If you do not receive it then you can check and edit the email address you entered.
Close
Thank you for joining us.
You can now request price and availability of artworks, exhibition checklists and build a collection of favourite artists, galleries and artworks.
Close
Welcome back to Ocula
Enter your email address and password below to login.
Login
Don't have an account? Sign Up
I forgot my password
Reset Password
Enter your email address to receive a password reset link.
Reset Link Sent
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.
Login