“At a certain point a painting is determining itself, its own character, being attentive and responding to the weaknesses, fragility, absences and flaws preoccupies me entirely. Ultimately it is as remote as it could be from spontaneity and self-expression.” … Aida Tomescu
“It is always impressive to see how, even in her most densely worked canvases, Tomescu’s paintings never grow turgid and muscle-bound: there is always a sense of the elasticity of organically related touches and an impressiveness and nerviness of gesture. A sort of lilt lightens and energises her touch.”… ( Terence Maloon, 2007 )
“In her hands, accumulated dabs and encrustations of paint may acquire marvelous powers of evocation and expression. Quasi-naturalistic effects are never consciously sought by her, yet they are within reach of her technique…phenomena are “there” in the possibilities of abstract art.” ( Terence Maloon, 2007 )
All the paintings in the show at Liverpool Street Gallery have been intensively worked, scraped back repeatedly and re-configured, looking for something that is unified, full and ordered. Contrary to the fleeting glance they are not works about texture, nor indeed purely formal qualities of painting. They are more essentially related to the artist’s sense of poetic construction, where mood, movement, vibration, the linkages of brushstrokes across the surface and their special behaviour forms a particular experience.
In 1996, Aida was the inaugural winner of the prestigious LSFA Arts 21 Fellowship and in 1997 held a solo exhibition at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Victoria.
Tomescu has won a number of arts prizes including the Sir John Sulman Prize in 1996, the Wynne Prize in 2001 and the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 2003.
“Her paintings are almost always the result of repeated painting-over, scraping out and eliminating whatever is unwanted and unnecessary. The right of every ingredient to survive and prevail is relentlessly questioned and tested. For Tomescu, as for Matisse, painting out and scraping off involve the workings of a ferocious critical intelligence. The images that survives is an outcome of repeated demolitions and countless modifications. However, if all goes well, the painting benefits tremendously from all this investment of psychic energy.”
“In her drawings and collages too, energy becomes a function of mass, as is implied by Einstein’s formula of E=mc². This is superbly exemplified by the Phosphor drawings, where a congeries of lines ravel and unravel, creating localized densities and also lending depth, substance and visual weight to the sheet of paper as a whole.” — Terence Maloon, 2006
About Aida Tomescu
Aida Tomescu was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1955.
Tomescu studied at the Institute of Fine Arts, Bucharest.
After completing her studies she began exhibiting in group exhibitions at the public gallery spaces in Bucharest. Tomescu held her first solo exhibition in 1979 in Cenaclu Gallery, Bucharest before moving to Sydney, Australia in 1980.
In 1983 Tomescu completed a postgraduate degree at the City Art Institute, Sydney.
Since she began exhibiting with Gallery A in 1981 she has held regular solo exhibitions in Melbourne and Sydney at galleries including: Coventry Gallery, Deutscher Brunswick Street, Christine Abrahams Gallery, Martin Browne Fine Art, Niagara Galleries, Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney and recently Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne.
Tomescu’s work has been included in frequent exhibitions in public museums in Australia, including: — Abstraction at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (1990), Articulate Surfaces at the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane (1994), Review at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (1995), Look Again at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (1998), Uncommon Worlds: Aspects of Contemporary Australian Art at the National Gallery of Australia (2000), Asia in Australia: Beyond Orientalism, Queensland University of Technology Art Museum, Queensland (2001), Depth of Field, Shepparton Art Gallery and Monash University Museum of Art (2003), Place Made, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2004), Sixth Drawing Biennale, The Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra (2006), Masters of Emotion, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Victoria (2007), Time and Place at the TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria (2007), New at the University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane, Contemporary Encounters (2010) at the Ian Potter Centre: The National Gallery of Victoria and Freehand at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Victoria.
“There is so much life in Tomescu’s drawings… At first glance a series of evocative drawings… may appear like impassioned expressions – fast and spontaneous. Yet each work in the series has evolved gradually over time: built up layer upon layer, the drawn lines probing space and overlapping, rubbed back into soft veils, continually remade afresh. The vibrant force-fields are there, certainly, but this is compressed energy that has emerged after a considerable genesis – made possible as a result of what has come before.”
“It is not about making a work of art as such but rather about discovering possibilities that take on a life of their own, becoming honed to the precision of a unified whole that feels inevitable.” – Deborah Hart, 2009
Tomescu’s work is represented in important public collections, including: The National Gallery of Australia, The National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Queensland Art Gallery, Heide Museum of Modern Art, The British Museum, London, The Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand and Artbank.
Tomescu’s work has been acquired by corporate collections, including: The Macquarie Group Collection, Allens Arthur Robinson and IBM Australia as well as important private collections, including: The Laverty Collection and The Holmes a Court Collection.
Her paintings and drawings are also included in regional gallery and university collections throughout Australia.