AIDA TOMESCU (b.1955)
Recognised as one of Australia's leading contemporary artists, Aida Tomescu’s distinctive and powerful paintings are the result of what she describes as a poetic process of repeated layering, erasure, and a relentless questioning of the image to discover and locate new content within each series. "The simultaneity of presence and absence, the open passages and the exposed areas of linen are crucial to the realisation of the work and an integral part of its structure. The paint incidents, the drips and the splatters that survive, actively participate in creating transitions and ultimately the live unity in the painting. I paint to find the fullness of transitions and of the spaces in-between," she explains.
Tomescu's work is informed by an in-depth knowledge and intimate study of art history. She continues to explore the way Pre, Early and Renaissance Italian painters (in particular, Giotto, Fra Angelico, Piero della Francesca and Titian) constructed their paintings, and the rich content of their work.
Structure and content are critical components of Tomescu's paintings, which often have long gestation periods, taking months and occasionally years to complete. She says: "My interest has always been to arrive at a unified image with fullness and clarity, to condense from a succession of moments and a continuous correspondence between layers, a truer more essential character of the image. In the midst of doing the work, when things are going well, you often feel that you are drawing on the sum of many experiences that are somehow essentially related. In other circumstances, all those experiences might seem very disparate, yet in the realm of the work they come together into complete accord."
Aida Tomescu has been living and working in Sydney, Australia since 1980. Born in 1955 Bucharest, Romania, Tomescu studied at the Institute of Arts, Bucharest, where she graduated with a Diploma of Visual Arts in 1977. Shortly after her arrival to Australia she completed a postgraduate Diploma at the City Art Institute graduating in 1983. Tomescu has exhibited regularly since 1978, with forty solo shows to date. Aida Tomescu is the winner of the Sulman Prize in 1996, the Wynne prize 2001 and the Dobell Prize for Drawing 2003, by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. She is also the winner of the inaugural LFSA Arts 21 Fellowship in 1996 at the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne. Tomescu is represented in all major art museums in Australia and in international collections including the National Gallery of Australia; the National Gallery of Victoria; the Art Gallery of New South Wales; the Art Gallery of South Australia; Queensland Art Gallery; Heide Museum of Modern Art; Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand; and the British Museum, London, UK.