We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Negru I



Aida Tomescu

Australia, Romania

03 Oct 1955 –

  • Details

    Other Title
    Negru II
    Place where the work was made
    Sydney New South Wales Australia
    Media categories
    Drawing , Print
    Materials used
    white pastel, drawn on lift-ground aquatint, printed in black ink
    120.0 x 81.0 cm sheet; 134.3 x 94.8 x 4.2 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r. corner, black pastel "ACT '02".
    Signed and dated u.l. corner, verso, pencil "Aida Tomescu/ ... 2002"

    Gift of the artist 2003
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Aida Tomescu/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Aida Tomescu

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Tomescu’s drawings are characteristically gestural and layered, and occasionally include collage. She first began making pastel drawings on prints in 1986 while producing etchings with printer John Loane, as a way of maintaining her continuity of thought during the printmaking process. Later, however, they became an independent part of her practice for a time and she had etchings specially printed for drawing on, as she was attracted to their surface quality and the contrast this made with her drawing materials.

    Tomescu’s drawings are an open-ended form of inquiry into the process of drawing itself, in which the interaction of marks and surface are poetic and allusive, rather than representing a narrative. Stemming partly from earlier works such as her ‘Negra’ series of lithographs, 'Negru IV' and 'Negru III' are from a group of works made concurrently in 2002 on the theme of blackness – ‘Negru’ is the Romanian word for ‘black’. Of these, four became the 'Negru' suite that includes this diptych (of the others, 'Negru II' was gifted to the Gallery in 2003, while 'Negru I' remains in a private collection).

    The series was triggered by the memory of a powerful small painting by New Zealand artist Colin McCahon (1919–87), 'A candle in a dark room' 1947 – a work that was itself inspired by McCahon’s meeting with a poet. While the drawings complement each other and were dependent on each other in the drawing process, each ultimately can be seen as individual works of art.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

Other works by Aida Tomescu

See all 27 works