The pair have reportedly fallen out with the Academy about a show they were working on that they previously mentioned in an interview with the Evening Standard. The Guardian reports they were told three days later that the exhibition would not go ahead – and quit.
Gilbert Prousch and George Passmore, who have been working together for five decades, became the first duo in 250 years to be accepted as academicians when they joined three years ago.
They told the Standard in an interview in February: “It is extraordinary that we’ve been able to risk extreme artwork for 40 years. You have to be an outsider to do art, you can’t be normal. Our art is about our journey.”
An Academy spokeswoman told the Observer that the pair’s resignation was “regrettable”, adding that “not all the academicians can have an exhibition and the RA is forced to make decisions about who to show and when”.
They are still listed on the Royal Academy website, however no longer have the “RA” title after their name.
RA artists are nominated by existing academicians – currently including Antony Gormley Lubaina Himid, Grayson Perry and Wolfgang Tillmans – and become senior academicians at the age of 75, when room is made for new entries.
The Standard has reached out to Gilbert and George for comment.