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Major exhibition of Romanian-born artists Gert and Uwe Tobias opens at The Whitechapel Gallery
Gert & Uwe Tobias, Untitled, 2012. Mixed media, collage on paper, 38.5 x 64 cm© photo Alistair Overbruck, Cologne/Gert & Uwe Tobias/VG. Bildkunst, Bonn.

LONDON.- The Whitechapel Gallery presents a major exhibition of Romanian-born artists Gert and Uwe Tobias. The artists’ collaborative woodcuts, detailed collages and new ceramic sculptures are part of a site-specific installation for the Gallery.

Identical twins Gert and Uwe Tobias paint, sculpt, make traditional woodcuts and draw with a typewriter. They have worked together since 2001 and, when in their studio, the artists often complete each other’s work. Their work is full of strange characters and creatures drawn from eastern European folk art combined with diverse influences, from abstract art of the early 20th century to German post-war painting.

The exhibition includes work from 2008 to the present day as well as a series of new works exhibited for the first time. The artists have also produced a unique woodcut specifically for the exhibition, continuing a tradition of creating a woodcut to mark every one of their solo shows.

The Tobias brothers’ large woodcuts and wall paintings draw on modernist geometric abstraction; however they combine line, shape, colour and typography with the narrative images and patterns of folk art, using decorative motifs such as flowers, plants, patterns, embroidery and domestic objects. These elements are often placed against a grid or flat painted background to create dramatic and surreal tableaux.

A selection of Gert & Uwe Tobias’ new ceramic works also feature in the exhibition. Taking mass-produced crockery, the artists add ceramic extrusions and coloured glazes to everyday plates and vases, creating new and unexpected expressionistic sculptures.

The Whitechapel Gallery’s presentation follows an exhibition of Gert and Uwe Tobias’s work curated by Iwona Blazwick, Director, Whitechapel Gallery, at The Gallery at Windsor, Vero Beach, Florida from 9 December 2012 – 4 April 2013. This exhibition is made in partnership with The Gallery at Windsor.

Twin brothers Gert and Uwe Tobias were born in Brasov, Romania, in 1973, in the Transylvanian region. Having moved to Germany in 1985 they studied in Brunswick and live and work in Cologne.

Their work is held in the collections of the Kunstmuseum Bonn, MoMA, New York and the Saatchi Gallery, London. They are represented by Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin; Maureen Paley, London; Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels and Team Gallery, New York. They have exhibited internationally at museums and galleries including FRAC Auvergne, Clermont Ferrand, France (2012); Staatliche Kunstsammlung Dresden, Kupferstich- Kabinett, Dresden, Germany (2012); Kunstverein Hamburg, Germany (2012); GEM Museum of Contemporary Art, The Hague, Netherlands (2011), Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK (2010), Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy (2009) and MoMA, New York (2007 & 2012). They live and work in Cologne, Germany.

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