Gert & Uwe Tobias – »auf«
Hard coal mining ends in 2018, marking the era of German history over the last 150 years. The Kohlaususstieg prompted the RuhrKunstMuseen to implement the largest ever exhibition project realized on the topic of « Art & Coal » across cities . Thus, this year’s art exhibition of the Ruhrfestspiele returns to the origin of the festival.
The artist duo Gert & Uwe Tobias creates narrative spaces. Since their studies, the twin brothers born in 1973 in Braşov (Brasov) have been working together – « One and one is three of us, and three is work » – and since then they have defined collage as their working principle. Their complex pictorial worlds cite the classical modernity, but also integrate everyday cultural finds, motifs of the Art Brut or elements of folk art.
At the heart of the Recklinghausen exhibition are large-format woodcuts printed like a jigsaw puzzle, captivating through their exuberant imagination and simultaneous artistic asceticism, through humor and subtle artificiality. They are covered by murals that equally cover all three floors of theKunsthalle Recklinghausen. There are also new, multi-part series of ceramic objects. Gert & Uwe Tobias approach the subject of mining in a variety of facets and realize an installation-oriented Gesamtkunstwerk that involves the exhibition visitor physically . The narrative structure of her production interweaves motifs of the mining world above and below ground,but remains associatively open. The exhibition once again proves the fascination of the Tobias brothers for the grotesque and ambiguous, for the play with seductively colorful surfaces and a look into abysmal depths.