Gilbert and George leave Royal Academy because of dashed hopes for large exhibition | Art and design

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Artists Gilbert and George, unpredictable celebrities of the British avant-garde, have puzzled the art world together for more than five decades. Their provocative murals, posters, photographs and videos surprised and often confused fans. But now the artists, who revel in a common reputation of “horrible people”, have fallen out with one of Britain’s most prestigious cultural institutions – the Royal Academy of Art.The two artists made the dramatic decision to resign from RA in response to the decision not to proceed with an exhibition they planned to present in the Academy’s Piccadilly galleries.

A February interview with the duo, Gilbert Prousch, 76, and George Passmore, 78, made reference to the highly publicized show they thought was offered. But only a few days later, after learning that this would not happen, they resigned as academicians, which has not happened since 2005, when Peter Blake allegedly resigned to protest the expulsion of his friend Brendan Neiland, the former director of AR. school.

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