Maureen Paley is pleased to present the second solo exhibition by Gert & Uwe Tobias at the gallery. Identical twin brothers Gert & Uwe Tobias were born in Brasov, Romania, in 1973, in the Transylvanian region. Having moved to Germany in 1985 they studied in Brunswick, and now live and work in a studio complex on the outskirts of Cologne. They paint, sculpt, make traditional woodcuts and collages. They have worked together since 2001 and when in their studio the artists often complete each other’s work. Their work is full of 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 Tobias brothers’ giant 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. There is much reference and quotation in their work from the rich Surrealist period, William Blake, along with symbolist allusion – all connected through their Romanian folk tradition. However, the bold and geometric presentation they employ creates a contemporary context that is unique to them.
Gert & Uwe Tobias have exhibited widely throughout Europe and the USA. Selected solo exhibitions include Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium, 2014; Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK, 2013; Kunstmuseum Ravensburg, Ravensburg, Germany, 2013; The Gallery at Windsor, Vero Beach, USA, 2012-2013; FRAC Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France, 2012; Kunstverein Hamburg, Germany, 2012; GEM Museum of Contemporary Art, The Hague, The Netherlands, 2011; Wilhelm Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen, Germany, 2010; Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK, 2010; La Conservera, Ceuti/Murcia, Spain, 2009; Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, Germany, 2009; Zurück Nach Vorwärts Zu, Kunsthalle Wien project space, Vienna, Austria, 2009; Museum Franz Gertsch, Burgdorf, Germany, 2009; Gert und Uwe Tobias, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany, 2008; projects 86, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA, 2008; Utstillingsplakater, Bergen Kunsthall, gallery No. 5, Bergen, Norway, 2007; Hammer Projects, UCLA Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA, 2006.
Selected publications include Gert & Uwe Tobias, Kunstmuseum Ravensburg, Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld, Berlin, 2013; Gert & Uwe Tobias, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2013; Gert & Uwe Tobias, Whitechapel Gallery, London, Windsor Press, Florida, 2012; Gert & Uwe Tobias, FRAC Auvergne, Clermont Ferrand, 2012; Gert & Uwe Tobias: Dresdener Paraphrasen – Dresden Paraphrases, Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern, 2012; Gert & Uwe Tobias, Florian Waldvogel, Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg, 2012; Gert & Uwe Tobias: GEM The Hague, Snoeck Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Köln, 2011; Gert & Uwe Tobias: Zeichnungen und Collagen, Wilhelm Hack Museum, Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld, Kerber, New York, 2010; Gert & Uwe Tobias, Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Gli Ori, Pistoia, 2010; Gert & Uwe Tobias, Museum Franz Gertsch, Burgdorf, Kunsthalle Wien, Wien, Snoeck Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Köln, 2009; Uwe/Gert Tobias, Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, Snoeck Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Köln, 2009; Gert & Uwe Tobias, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Kunstverein Heilbronn, Heilbronn, Snoeck Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Köln, 2008.
Gert & Uwe Tobias have also made numerous self-published books concerning their work since 2001.