THE BREEDER
Gert & Uwe Tobias, Untitled/ Baum, 2008, woodcut on paper, 210x188cm
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The Tobias brothers are highly acclaimed for their large size coloured woodcuts and have been praised as revivers and innovators of this lost arts and crafts printing technique. The woodcut printing method had been left to oblivion decades ago in the artistic milieu and has been invigorated to its highest grandeur by the artists. Their work has been built upon a modus operandi which origins date back to the 1st Century and which regained importance in Europe in the 15th c with the work of German Albrecht Dürer, while later was linked with the Expressionists. Gert & Uwe Tobias oeuvre is to its most extent biographical and highly influenced by Hungaro-Romanian folk art, mythologies, fairytales, Socialist Architecture, Cubism, Expressionism, Dadaism, contemporary graphic design and advertisement. The ornamented features of their woodcuts can also be found in works by artists of “High Modernism” (in Gauguin or Matisse, for example) and in more recent art (Mark Tansey, Kara Walker, Peter Kogler etc). Gert & Uwe Tobias bring together in their work a number of different practices like ceramics, collages, drawings, writing, woodcuts and installation. In their diverse production of images one comes across surreal, dark and burlesque type of figures which are recurrent in their work; and which are evocative of their past childhood. Circus like figures are composed into abstract shapes and blended with words that give them a symbolic character.