Gert and Uwe Tobias exhibition brings craft and geometry to Whitechapel Gallery

By Mark Sheerin | 17 April 2013

Exhibition preview: Gert and Uwe Tobias, Whitechapel Gallery, London, until June 14 2013

Colour photo of a thorny floral pattern print
© whitechapelgallery.org
Constructivism may have broken with representation and local reference points to emphasise the newness of revolutionary art. But it failed to take into account prevalent myths and sensibilities in Eastern Europe and Russia.

Gert and Uwe Tobias, meanwhile, return us to the folklore of their native Romania. Yet the twins do not fail to take into account the coming centenery of constructivism. Their strange art is a hybrid of geometric rigour and fairytale intrigue. Oh, and a dash of German post-war painting.

But their choices are not purely aesthetic. They bring a craft sensibility with them from the Southern Carpathians and can be found working with woodcut, ceramic and collage. And as if to underline their rejection of the digital age, they also draw with typerwriters.

The results are as dreamlike and uncanny as a night in a Transylvanian castle. Now these 'brothers grim' are showing for the second time in the UK since a solo show in Nottingham Contemporary in 2010.

As before, they’re publicising the current exhibition with a handmade poster print, as if to prove they don’t bite.

  • Open 11am-6pm (9pm Thursday, closed Monday). Admission free. Follow the gallery on Twitter @_TheWhitechapel.

Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.
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