Gallery: Pékin Fine Arts
Artist(s): Phénix Varbanov
Opening / Event Date: 28 Jul, 2023
Closing / End Date: 30 Sep, 2023
Flowers Gallery is delighted to announce representation of Aida Tomescu, one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists, with her first solo exhibition in Hong Kong.
Into a Carpet Made of Water takes its title from an early book of poems Under The Iron of the Moon by the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard, whose work traverses themes of nature, mortality, and faith.
Tomescu’s distinctive and innovative paintings are the result of repeated layering, erasure, and modification of the painted surface, where the right of every mark to survive is continually tested. Tomescu’s process involves a relentless questioning of the image, working back into the paint, editing, scraping back and repositioning, to discover and locate new content within each series.
As Deborah Hart, senior curator at the National Gallery of Australia has written, “In Tomescu’s mature paintings the sheer physicality of paint, its density and the archaeology of the layers, its application and movement across the surface, is inseparable from the content. The tenor of the work is guided by its colouration and by its internal rhythms, like the variations and tonalities in music.”
The keynote of this exhibition is established by a group of large paintings completed between 2019 and 2021. Characterised by the use of cadmium red, alizarin crimson, magenta, cobalt violet, and cadmium maroon, they create a wild and often whimsically playful counterpoint to an accompanying new series of becalmed, reflective smaller paintings titled Silverpoint I-IV.
Tomescu says: “The simultaneity of presence and absence, the open passages and the exposed areas of linen are crucial to the realisation of the work. The paint incidents, the drips and the splatters that survive, actively participate in creating transitions and ultimately the living structure in the painting. I paint to find the fullness of transitions and of the spaces in-between.”
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.”
ABOUT AIDA TOMESCU
Born in Bucharest, Romania in 1955, Aida Tomescu has been living and working in Sydney, Australia since 1980. Tomescu studied at the Institute of Arts, Bucharest, was awarded a Diploma of Visual Arts in 1977, and shortly after her arrival to Australia completed a postgraduate degree at the City Art Institute in 1983.
Tomescu has exhibited regularly since 1978 with forty solo shows to date, and has participated in national and international exhibitions and events including Know My Name (2020-21), National Gallery of Australia; Art Basel Hong Kong (2019, 2018, 2017 & 2015); Abstraction, National Gallery of Australia touring exhibition (2017-2018); Art Stage Singapore (2015); The Triumph of Modernism, Tarra Warra Museum of Art (2015); Abstraction: The Heide Collection, Heide Museum of Modern Art (2015); Vibrant Matter, Tarra Warra Museum of Art (2013); The Mind’s Eye, Art Gallery of South Australia (2013); Out of Australia: Prints and Drawings, The British Museum, London (2011); Forever Young, Heide Museum of Modern Art (2011); and Contemporary Encounters, Ian Potter Centre: National Gallery of Victoria (2010). In 2009, a major survey exhibition of Tomescu’s works was held at the Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra.
Tomescu won the inaugural LFSA Arts 21 Fellowship in 1996 at the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne; the Sulman Prize 1996; the Wynne prize, 2001; and the Dobell Prize for Drawing, 2003, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.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.