The art of Gert and Uwe Tobias—artists, brothers and coconspirators who call Cologne, Germany, home—is a delight to behold. As for the artists themselves, they are twins who work off of their Romanian roots, plowing through the myths of Dracula and other vampires of their native Transylvania. But the most salient fact? They are outstanding draftsmen.
As seen in the five colorful and regally large paintings at Team’s Wooster Street space (one features the image of a majestic bed; another depicts a table piled with odd flora and fauna; a third suggests a creepy floral textile; the last two are more portraitlike offerings), the artists’ technique of printing woodcuts on canvas requires significant craft and care. Compositions stamped from multiple blocks appear to seamlessly coalesce, but a closer inspection reveals glitches; parts of the paintings don’t entirely match up. Like sets of twins, perhaps, the woodcuts have something off-kilter about them, despite appearing to align at first glance.
Meanwhile, over at the Grand Street gallery, Max Ernst meets AbEx fury in a series of collages and quirky household-item-like sculptures that exhibit the brothers’ very German fixation with Early Modern Art. What distinguishes team Tobias from their contemporaries, of course, is their deep connection to folklore and associated imagery—which they mischievously dismantle, blend and rejigger for our viewing pleasure.—Nana Asfour