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George Tobias: By The Skin Of Our Teeth

a new work by outsider artist George Tobias




The Horse Hospital is proud to present a new work by outsider artist George Tobias.

With his current assemblage the artist has found 270 worker’s saws, both ancient and modern, each with its own impregnated patina of blood, sweat and sawdust, and painstakingly fused them together in pairs, rendering their original use inept. This re-appropriation challenges the spectator to re-assess their perceived view of these common hardware tools which now take on aspects of erotic pairing and rough spooning, and imagine them instead as sacred sculptural artefacts which once adorned the walls of a grand cathedral or masonic hall.

No matter his choice of materials, Tobias continues to create an alchemy of challenging works of art that are not only beautiful, steeped with dark humour, and truly irreverent, but they also contain an underlying element of cutting social comment.

“The idea for this new exhibition came to me fully formed in an instant. Assembling 270 old saws and welding them together mostly in pairs, took a whole lot longer” George Tobias

George Tobias’s work has been exhibited and collected worldwide since the late 1970’s and is held in both private and public collections. This is the artists 3rd solo show at the Horse Hospital. The first “Bedrock“  2006  was followed by “My little Kingdom“ in 2015. What they all have in common is the artist deliberately chose a medium he found challenging to master and then limited all the work at that event to that discipline. First pottery, then painting and now welding. Through stubborn persistence he finally achieves levels of competence enabling him to produce artefacts of a rough and clumsy monumentality and, using  a private alphabet - so beloved of the outsider -bestows on them a wealth of detail and distortion.

"The work is impolite, imprecise and flagrantly disobedient of normative values deserves to be seen" Prof Tamar Garb - Art historian