Ildiko Kovacs  2019 Both Ways

lldiko Kovacs’ abstract works revel in the rich and sumptuous possibilities of paint and its ability to evoke different thoughts, emotions, and sensations. Across the course of her career, Kovacs has created paintings that are intuitive and raw, the result of a process of experimentation, and of applying and removing pigment until a sense of cohesion is achieved. Working directly…without a preconceived outcome, painting for Kovacs is process-driven and instinctive – an “intuitive line of thought or belief”. Her practice over 40 years has been shaped by a series of artistic shifts and developments that, as she says, are “somehow always connected with what is happening in my life.”

– Megan Robson

Kovacs’ early career ‘void’ paintings were succeeded by her experimentations with reintroducing forms to the pictorial space. These abstracted forms coalesced into lines, structured and fluid. In recent years, Kovacs has worked with wide, rolling lines that twist, turn, curve, and loop over themselves. In ‘Both Ways’, Kovacs presents four such works. In contrast, Kovacs also presents ply-mounted works on card in which her gestural line narrows, sharpens, and becomes almost sculptural, carving through the two-dimensional space. In both styles, Kovacs draws on abstract expressionism’s focus on process and gesture in mark-making, as she builds up, excavates, and builds again thick layers of lines and shapes which follow the movements of her body as she works. From the process-based similarities and the drastically different styles of the works in ‘Both Ways’ emerges a dialogue about line and gesture, colour and movement, and internal and external landscapes.

Since the 1980s, Kovacs has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, and has the recipient of major awards including the Bulgari Art Award in 2015. Her work is held in major national and international collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artbank, and the World Bank.