The Urethra Postcard Pictures

14 Apr 2011 to 14 May 2011

From 14 April to 14 May 2011, Ivorypress hosted the exhibition The Urethra Postcard Pictures, by Gilbert & George. In 2009, nearly four decades after their first exhibition of postcard art, and 20 years since their last series of pictures to be made in the medium of postcards, Gilbert & George returned to the form to make an epic and dazzling group of 564 new pieces that comprise The Urethra Postcard Pictures. This is the single largest group of art works made by Gilbert & George, and in turn comprises seven individual groups of new postcard pictures.

The Urethra Postcard Pictures, reproduced in their entirety in this new volume, reveal Gilbert & George at their most intent and artistically omiscient. These new pieces are united, compositionally, by their elements, comprising ‘an angulated version of the sign of the urethra’. This shape—a continuous rectangle of cards, with a single card in its central space—mimics the sexual symbol used by the one-time theosophist C. W. Leadbetter (1854—1934) to accompany his signature, and as such proposes that this group of new art works is infused with a still confrontational libertarianism.

Michael Bracewell.