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Introduction

Gert & Uwe Tobias were born and raised in Transylvania and currently live in Cologne. They are known for their unique imagery, inspired by both the traditional folk myths of their country of origin and popular culture. Their artistic practice comprises ceramic sculptures, painting, paperwork and large color woodcuts on canvases, the latter which combine the classic painting genre with a well-known printing technique used for the traditional propaganda making as well as in pop art’s repetition of motifs. Instead of carving out the figure into the block of wood, they shape the individual motifs in plywood and use a roller to apply the paint to the surface of each form, which finally transfers the color to the canvas. In this way, Gert and Uwe Tobias develop a well-known tradition and method.

Figuration is always the focal point of the work, whether it is made sculpturally or picturesquely, and their unique way with imagery has become their trademark which has placed the artist duo firmly on the European contemporary art scene. Their artistic universe thus has a direct connection to different art historical and cultural epochs, and in this way also reflects the anti-nostalgic use of images of current popular culture. Inspired by surrealism and abstract modernism, art history is an essential key to opening and grasping Gert & Uwe Tobias’ distinctive imagery. This matrix of isms breaks down the conventional distinction between art and craft and provides a renewed opportunity for the imagery of the works to re-emerge on its own terms - as an allegory of the fluctuating character that characterizes the contemporary art experience.

Their works are exhibited in a large number of museums around the world. Including solo exhibitions at Museum of Modern Art, New York; Kunsthalle Recklinghausen; Sprengel Museum, Hanover; Whitechapel, London; Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia; Kunstmuseum Bonn; UCLA, Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles.

They are represented in a number of public museum collections. Including MoMa, Museum of Modern Art, New York; SFMOMA, San Francisco; UCLA, Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Collezione Maramotti, Max Mara, Reggio Emilia; Kunstmuseum Bonn; FRAC Auvergne, Clermont Ferrand; Collection Goetz, Munich; Sprengel Museum, Hanover; Graphic State Collection, Munich.

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