The Daily Pic

05.01.12

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The Daily Pic: Gilbert and George make art from endangered newspaper headlines.

At their best, the great London art duo Gilbert and George have a note of poignancy in their work – very notable in early pieces from the 1960s, less so as they've become superstars. That note is back again, in complicated ways, in a giant new series of works called the London Pictures, filling both of Lehmann Maupin's New York spaces, as well as all Sonnabend Gallery. The premise behind the project is simple: Over the last six years or so, G&G have collected 3,712  daily posters from British newspaper boxes, and have now organized them in grids according to the words they contain. Thirty-five headlines including the word "Police" might appear in frames on one wall; fifteen "Stabbed To Deaths" might be on another. The poignancy? It doesn't just lie in the banal violence of the urban subject matter. It's also in the fact that the entire genre of headlines the duo have captured is sure to disappear, one of these decades. Google demands headlines that are more informative than grabby.

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