Valencian Institute for Modern Art Opens Liliane Tomasko Bright Matter

The Valencian Institute for Modern Art presents Liliane Tomasko: Bright Matter, open 27th April – 26th June 2011.

This exhibition gathers over sixty works of art, made between 1999 and 2011, in which the sketchy image of daily details such as paper bags, blankets, clothes, windows and half-lighted rooms acquires shades and textures and, without losing the figurative condition of its photographic origin, evokes certain lyric and geometrical abstraction.


Liliane Tomasko Gold On Brown, 2008

To Liliane Tomasko, painting has had a great importance as a unique expressive means of creation, wondering constantly about the limits of abstraction and, consequently, about the limits of figurative art. This is the reason why this exhibition insists on showing an oeuvre in which both pictorial disciplines come together, overlap and continually discuss. On the occasion of the exhibition a catalogue has been published which contains the works displayed and texts by Consuelo Císcar, Sally Radic and Armin Zweite.

Liliane Tomasko’s oeuvre is divided into subjects that involve bags (useful for the transfers); stacks (made of different materials arranged in piles); and window corners paintings (showing darkness in a relatively forgotten corner). In spite of the differences between these three subjects, the guiding thread of all of them is their photographic origin. Tomasko gathers groups of paper bags in still-life compositions and then she photographs them with a Polaroid camera. She follows the same procedure with the stacks, which are in fact malleable sculptures that are then photographed as an extreme close-up to push the physical, three-dimensional space to the edges and corners of the picture shot. She follows exactly the same procedure when she photographs dark corners and fragments of windows.

However, the artist doesn’t start with high quality photographs. They are Polaroid snapshots and, therefore, they are malleable and somewhat indistinct, often with rich colors, or colors that tend to be too dark or too bright with regard to the original object. The photographs are small. With these pictures, using simultaneously the memory of the object, the latter is transformed into painting which returns it practically to its original size.

The process of abstraction and mystification allows this painter to use a simple painting style that provides mystery and luminosity, characteristics that couldn’t be found in the original object. So the paintings, through their emotion-covered surfaces, take the object from cheap photography to the romantic painting of its origin, displaying a new beauty and a valuable originality.

There is a significant comment in these paintings on our contemporary world in the way that pictures transform the meaning of the objects they are representing. Therefore, the matter of representation and misrepresentation is omnipresent. It is about a journey through the transforming power of the technique, and through the power of painting as a manual means nowadays.

Liliane Tomasko was born in Zurich, Switzerland. She studied at Camberwell School of Art in London, United Kingdom, and she got a degree in Fine Arts by the Chelsea College of Art and Design. She also took the master’s degree in Fine Arts in the Royal Academy of Arts (London). She currently lives and works in New York, Barcelona and Munich.

Her work has been exhibited in Barcelona, Palma (Majorca), Zurich, Berlin and New York. She has recently presented in Berlin, together with her husband Sean Scully, the exhibition “Liliane Tomasko and Sean Scully. The shadow of the corner of the wall”

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