The controversial concept artists Gilbert and George are separating after forty years together. The big split follows months of tabloid rumour and innuendo after Britain’s best loved gay avant-garde living sculptors were spotted in bizarre artworks on their own. The official reason for the abstract divorce was given as ‘artistic differences’ though it has been well known in the art world that Gilbert has been increasingly influenced by the artistic style of Rolf Harris. However it seems he was unable to persuade George that the duo’s art should develop towards instant paintbrush cartoons slapped onto a big white canvass while a wobble board played in the background.
Now a long legal battle is expected to follow over the ‘living sculpture’ concept, with the most likely outcome being George having custody during the week with the judge granting Gilbert access at the weekend and every other Wednesday. With neither side being prepared to back down, all the pictures in which they both appear are currently being divided down the middle.
Meanwhile the major retrospective currently on show at the Tate Modern has been re-hung to reflect their new direction. ‘Gilbert and Rolf’ opens on Wednesday.