Andrew Gilbert

Andrew Gilbert (photo credit: Lars Spillmann)
Andrew Gilbert (*1980 Edinburgh, Scotland) is an artist whose work uncovers the absurdist insanity of the modern Western imperial project by mixing historical episodes from the violent British empire with the continuing damage of the successive hegemons from the American empire, to security pacts and the brutal extractive tendencies of global capital. His work uses the powerful device of anachronism to illuminate the violence that has been purposefully hidden, excused, or dismissed as belonging to a different era by resurrecting the ghosts of these past sins and blending them with whitewashed fables that have been interwoven into national narratives.
Andrew Gilbert Installation at the Tate Britain, London featuring four life-size figures wearing British colonial era uniforms and some with African masks, in the exhibition, "Legacies of Empire" in 2015
Andrew Gilbert Installation at the Tate Britain, London in the exhibition, "Artist and Empire -legacies of empire"(2015) (photo: credit: artist)

At the heart of the western path to modernization is a bizarre logic of cultural displacement which Gilbert sets centerstage. He shows us Scottish highlanders marching through Zulu land, monument fetishes celebrating Shaka Zulu Instant Coffee, and reminds us that the British forced opium on the Chinese and then forced Indians to grow tea to cut the Chinese out, making delightful products out of horrible conditions. Andrew Gilbert’s installations and drawings unite these dislocated subjects into tragicomic narrative works that continue to characterize our modern world. His works are seductively powerful meditations on a damaged Western psyche that has been exported worldwide. 

Past Exhibition:

Andrew Gilbert : “Emperor Andrew’s vision of the flowers of Hlobane blossoming on the fields of Königgrätz, 1866” May 11, 2023 – June 30, 2023 

Scottish artist Andrew Gilbert presented a solo exhibition of his works for the first time in Vienna. Long-known for his radical installations, drawings, and paintings that address the historic and ongoing violence of imperialism in imaginative ways, Gilbert reminds us that we are far from the postcolonial future that we would like to envision. In his upcoming exhibition, Andrew Gilbert will continue to confront our romantic notions of the past by showing us that empires of oppression are very much alive, from today’s great power games playing out on the geo-political stage to the everyday violence used to bring products to the market. 

Exhibition Courtesy of the artist and Sperling, Munich

The Great Altar of the eternal Leekphone (tm) Plantation Drone Strike, Hlobane 1879, Königgrätz 1866
Andrew´s Most Loyal Coffee Servant (Fighting Mac)
Defenders of Western Civilization (tm) Starring John Wayne as Davy Crockett and Michael Caine as Coloniel Bromhead (2022) acrylic on paper 40 x 30 cm
The Alamo, March 6, Napalmed and Drone Striked (tm) (2023) acrylic on paper 30 x 40 cm
Installation at Muzeum a Gallerie Horice, Czech Republic
Königgrätz, 1866 (2023) acrylic on paper 50 x 65 cm
From the exhibition (2022) "Emperor Andrew's Glorious Occupation of Exotic Hořice" at Muzeum a Galerie Hořice in the Czech Republic
From the exhibition (2022) "Emperor Andrew's Glorious Occupation of Exotic Hořice" at Muzeum a Galerie Hořice in the Czech Republic
Emperor Andrew (tm) makes a pleasant hike and enjoys the sublime view of his Leek Phone (tm) production farm (2023) acrylic on paper 70 x 100 cm
Andrew Gilbert Diorama
Andrew Gilbert Book