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Australian art

Contemporary art

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Sewn onto stones in the sky



Aida Tomescu

Romania, Australia

03 Oct 1955 -


Aida Tomescu is celebrated for her richly layered paintings, built gradually from intensely worked passages of pigment and constant editing through erasure. Scraping back and often reworking the entire canvas over time, her paintings are remarkably textured and luminous. Some are inscribed with text or symbols, suggesting references beyond the material and gesture. This gives a timeless quality to her work, which is as informed by historical painting practices, poetry and literature as it is by the language of contemporary abstraction.

'Sewn onto stones in the sky' is the most ambitious painting in scale that Tomescu has yet undertaken. The triptych's poetic foundation resides with the verses of Paul Celan, from where the work takes its title. Films of white pigment evolve in synchronicity with vibrant rhythmic planes of deep cadmium maroon, alizarin crimson and cobalt violet. These hues are punctuated by underlayers of blushing reds, suggestive of the radiant paintings of the Pre-Renaissance and Renaissance Italian painters Tomescu studies intimately, particularly Giotto, Piero della Francesca and Titian.




Media category


Materials used

triptych: oil on Belgian linen


200.0 x 460.0 cm overall :

a - panel 1, 200 x 153 cm

b - panel 2, 200 x 153 cm

c - panel 3, 200 x 153 cm

Signature & date

Signed and dated u.l. verso on canvas [part a], black fibre-tipped pen "Aida Tomescu [underlined]/ …/…/ 2019/ …/ …".
Signed and dated u.l. verso on canvas [part b], black fibre-tipped pen "Aida Tomescu [underlined]/ …/ …/ 2019/ …/ …".
Signed and dated u.l. verso on canvas [part c], black fibre-tipped pen "Aida Tomescu [underlined]/…/ 2019/ …/ …/ …".


Purchased with funds donated by Ken Coles AM and Rowena Danziger AM 2019


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Aida Tomescu

Works in the collection