Good abstract painting is a thing of pure joy, it plays with the senses and allows the viewer to explore and assign meaning. This personal engagement with colour, form, material and process is never more critical than in the work of Sydney based artist Aida Tomescu.
If you frequent galleries you will inevitably come across the phrase ‘gestural abstraction’. This can mean a multitude of different things but at its core it suggests a spontaneity in the placement of marks on the canvas or paper. Tomescu is widely considered to be one of the finest practitioners of this form of painting and yet her works evolve slowly and as she confidently states are “as remote as they could be from self expression.” They are the culmination of months (sometimes years) of unbroken concentration, the adding and removing of paint crafting an “entity” or “presence” in the work.
Tomescu also speaks of colour being transformed into the entity she seeks and the title of her show at Sullivan + Strumpf: “Eyes in the Heat” points to a marked change in the temperature that is distilled in her paintings. Like the process of making the work, colour is layered and scraped back to create the perfect balance between the high-heat of the cadmium-rich orange, red and yellow and the breathing space created by the cool whites and icy pale blues. As a result some paintings vibrate with the full force and immediacy of a complete symphony orchestra (like the monumental diptych with the same title as the exhibition) while others like ‘Ash’ are built up to a point where they emanate profound silence.
Aida Tomescu was born in 1955 in Romania and moved to Sydney in 1980. She is an internationally exhibited artist who is represented in many major collections both here and overseas and this forceful exhibition is a must-see for anyone who wants to witness an artist who is truly mastering the abstract language.
Aida Tomescu ‘Eyes in the Heat’
Sullivan + Strumpf
799 Elizabeth St
Zetland NSW 2017
Tues-Sat 10-5pm or By Appointment
03 November – 28 November 2015