synthetic polymer paint on masonite
frame 63.5 × 64 × 4cm
Museum of Contemporary Art, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Ann Lewis AO, 2009
T.T. shows the influence of Aboriginal painting on non-Aboriginal artists, an important development in contemporary Australian art. Ildiko Kovacs’ practice is strongly process-based, in which she builds her images by layering, accumulating and removing paint over time. Kovacs’ paintings are distinguished by their surface effects, luminosity and organic use of line, which together create the illusion of depth and movement. A 1995 trip around Australia took Kovacs to Broome where she came in contact with Aboriginal art. This experience was pivotal in shifting her focus from European and American painting traditions to the Australian landscape and artists.
Kovacs’ work can also be placed within a European art-historical lineage, drawing as it does on abstract expressionism’s prioritising of process and gesture in mark-making. Kovacs builds up her paintings in thick applications of lines and shapes which follow the movements of her body as she works. She then removes layers and works up others over time, allowing the final work to emerge and take shape.
The line is a metaphor for me, my nature. Ultimately the process of painting is for me an intuitive one.
Ildiko Kovacs, Art Collector Magazine, no. 53, 2010, p.136.
Born 1962, Sydney. Lives and works Sydney.
Ildiko Kovacs has been exhibiting since the 1980s and has been shown in a number of group exhibitions, including the Wynne Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2014); Crossing Paths II, Raft Art Space, Alice Springs (2013); and Fieldwork, Bathurst Regional Gallery, NSW (2011) and MCA, Sydney (2010). Kovacs’ work is in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, NSW; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Bathurst Regional Gallery, NSW; and various private collections.