'A Picture of War is Not War', we read in Hito Steyerl's iconic film November (2004), an essayistic Super 8 film tackling the definition of terrorism constructed around the figure of the artist's best friend Andrea Wolf, who was killed as a terrorist in 1998 in Eastern Anatolia after she joined the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Mixing documentary...
There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...
Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...
Like the arsonist who watches his work smoulder, we humans are often compelled to keep our darkest, wildest instincts just within view. As if to see malefic energies beside us is to keep ourselves from assuming their form.
Gert & Uwe Tobias are masters of conjuring faintly perceptible desires as they ooze from cracks in our psyches. For their sixth solo exhibition at rodolphe janssen, mythological creatures make barely contained pets in portraiture. At times they appear to pose amenably, at others they wriggle free from their human counterparts, who counter candidness and mayhem with solemnity and seductively piercing side glances. These are portraits of the human infatuation with monstrosity, of chaotic symbiosis: a bearing of mythological alter-egos.
Influences of Symbolism are at play in the Tobias Brothers' paintings, what Huysmans, in his analysis of Odilon Redon's paintings, called 'undreamed-of images'. And yet, we rarely encounter the all encompassing darkness of Gustave Moreau. Subject and object, fore and background merge playfully in sepia and quinacridone washes. Figures are delineated as they emerge from murky spaces, the whiteness of their eyes and hands the focal point around which atmospheric gestures recall hair, ectoplasm, and mist.
In the 12th century zoological survey Bestiary, the characteristics of animals both real and supernatural are described in equal detail; Unicorns and griffins are provided the same ontological seriousness as horses and peacocks. Mythological creatures, in other words, have long occupied psychic space with the same fear and excitement as wild animals kept as pets, physical manifestations of what lies beyond the human. They sit tenderly close to our longing.
Twin brothers Gert & Uwe Tobias (born in 1973 in Brasov, Romania) live and work in Cologne, Germany.
Recent solo exhibitions were held at Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, Recklinghausen, Germany; Sprengel Museum Hannover, Hannover, Germany; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany; Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany; Team Gallery, New York, NY USA; Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany; Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium; rodolphe janssen, Brussels, Belgium; Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK; Kunstmuseum Ravensburg, Ravensburg, Germany; Team Gallery, New York, USA; Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden Kupferstichkabinett, Dresden, Germany; Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy; Maureen Paley, London, UK and many more.
Tobias are included in several museum and public collections such as MoMa, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY USA; UCLA, Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA USA; Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany; FRAC Auvergne, Clermont Ferrand, France; Kupferstich-Kabinett Dresden, Dresden, Germany; Kupferstichkabinett Berlin, Berlin, Germany and Sammlung Goetz, München, Germany.
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