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Aida Tomescu

Aida Tomescu is an Australian contemporary artist,[1][2] who is known for her abstract paintings, drawings and prints. Tomescu is the winner of Dobell Prize for Drawing, the Wynne Prize for Landscape and the Sir John Sulman Prize by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Born October 1955 Bucharest / Arrives Australia 1980.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

Aida Tomescu
Aida Tomescu

Bucharest, Romania
Known forPainting, Drawing, Contemporary art
Awards2003 Dobell Prize for Drawing
2001 Wynne Prize
1996 Sir John Sulman Prize
WebsiteAida Tomescu

Education, Career and Awards.

‘The seed of her career as a painter became planted in Aida Tomescu while studying at the Institute of Fine Arts in Bucharest in the late 1970's , when she closely studied the work of Cezanne and his legacy through cubism. She read Kandinsky's famous essay, 'Concerning the spiritual in art' ... When she emigrated to Australia from Romania and took up study at the City Art Institute in Sydney in 1980 she was ripe for a dedication to abstract painting from which she never wavered’.

Barry Pearce, 100 moments of Australian painting 2014, page 216. NewSouth Publishing.

Aida Tomescu is the winner of many prestigious art prizes including the Sir John Sulman Prize 1996, the Wynne Prize 2001, 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 at the Heide Museum of Modern Art 1996, Melbourne.[12]

Aida Tomescu is currently represented by Fox Jensen Gallery Sydney Australia and Fox Jensen McCrory Gallery Auckland New Zealand.


Exhibitions and Critical ReceptionEdit


Tomescu's held her first exhibition in 1979, in Bucharest and has exhibited regularly since, in Australia and internationally, with over 30 solo exhibitions to date. Her work was the subject of a major survey at the Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University in Canberra, 2009.[13][14][15]

Tomescu’s graphic works were included in the major survey of prints and drawings Out of Australia at the British Museum, London in 2011.[16]

Tomescu's paintings have been a part of many important exhibitions including: ‘Abstraction’, National Gallery of Australia touring exhibition (2017-2018), The Triumph of Modernism at TarraWarra Museum of Art.[17] Art Basel Hong Kong (2018, 2017 & 2015), ‘The Anatomy of Gesture’, FOX/JENSEN/AUCKLAND (2017); ‘Chromoffection’, FOX/JENSEN/AUCKLAND (2016), 'The Heide Collection’, Heide Museum of Modern Art (2015); ‘Vibrant Matter’, TarraWarra Museum of Art (2013), ‘The Mind’s Eye’, Art Gallery of South Australia (2013), ‘Forever Young’, Heide Museum of Modern Art (2011), and ‘Contemporary Encounters’, Ian Potter Centre: National Gallery of Victoria (2010).

Critical Reception

“[One] of the best painters at work in Australia today, Aida Tomescu has revived a full-throated painterly abstraction, where colour and gesture flow through the work...she knits over and under surfaces in which the light and colour seem to be pulsing from within the work, not just laid on top. You feel her presence and her sensibility, moment to moment on the surface, in the painting.”

— Patrick McCaughey, Strange Country: Why Australian Painting Matters, Melbourne University Publishing, 2014

“For Tomescu the idea of experience is more pertinent to her ways of working than a purely practical idea of ‘process’. Gradually the sense of fullness moves the work to a great focus and compression of materials, ideas, and energies. The engagement in the work is deeply intuitive, ‘working towards reducing the distance between thinking and doing.’ 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, States of Becoming, Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra


Aida Tomescu is represented in all Australian major art museums and in many regional galleries, and university and corporate collections within Australia and internationally 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.


  1. ^ McCaughey, Patrick (2014). Strange country : why Australian painting matters. Carlton, Victoria: Miegunyah Press. ISBN 9780522861204.
  2. ^ McCulloch, Alan; & McCulloch, Susan. Encyclopedia of Australian art. 1994 St Leonards, NSW : Allen & Unwin (3rd revised edition), p703-704.
  3. ^
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  6. ^ Pearce, Barry. '100 Moments in Australian Painting', 2014, NewSouth Publishing, in association with the Art Gallery of NSW
  7. ^ Grey, Anna (ed.) 'Australian Art in the National Gallery of Australia', 2002, National Gallery of Australia, p. 418
  8. ^ Kolenberg, Hendrik. 'Australian Prints, exhibition catalogue', 1998, Art Gallery of New South Wales
  9. ^ McDonald, John. ‘Wild and Wondrous,’ Spectrum, The Sydney Morning Herald, August 25, 2012
  10. ^ McDonald, John. ‘Pathways to other worlds’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 September 2007
  11. ^ McDonald, John. ‘Lines of Thought,’ The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 September 2011
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Aida Tomescu: Paintings And Drawings".
  14. ^ Grishin, Sasha. ‘Power in the Individual Vision,’ The Canberra Times, 20 October 2009
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External linksEdit