Liliane Tomasko

Liliane Tomasko (b. 1967, Zurich) is a Swiss artist of Hungarian descent who has lived and worked in Zurich, London, Barcelona, Munich, and New York. Tomasko attended Camberwell College, London from 1991–1992, completed a BA in Fine Arts at Chelsea College of Art & Design until 1995, and graduated with an MA in Fine Arts from the Royal Academy of Arts in 1998.


Tomasko’s practice started in sculpture, disassembling old pieces of furniture, alienating them with ordinary materials such as wool, wire, or household paint and the treatment of their surfaces, recombining the parts and assembling them into spatial installations that refer to the domestic sphere of everyday life and living. Taking Polaroid photographs of these sculptural, often ephemeral, assemblages, a visual archive was built up which Tomasko has now referred to over the past two decades, in combination with memories, dreams and the unconscious, to express a personal vocabulary through the medium of painting. Her paintings and drawings are diverse in composition, motifs, and materials, in oil and acrylic, charcoal, wax, and watercolor, whether applied to canvas with brush, pencil or spray gun, on aluminum, wood, paper, and bed sheets, but they are based throughout on intuition and inner experience. 


Liliane Tomasko understands painting as a vehicle to address existential questions of human nature via generally accessible motifs and associations, to address emotions and to lure the viewer into a process of self-reflection. Thus she chooses familiar, everyday places and objects, such as the bed, sheets, pillows, and mattresses, as a symbol for the place of sleep, dream, and intermediate states. The empty bed, and clothes, are metaphors for the presence of the absent. From 2017, Tomasko has driven her abstract gestures into an immediate, expressive painterly act, using a palette of vibrating colors. Series of paintings explore light and dark, transparent and opaque. The brushstrokes are anarchic, wild, freed from any compositional rules – blurred, diffuse, with grated patches of color, or  sprayed lines, they create a tremendous dynamic. Everything that takes place on the surface of the picture seems to be in chaos and yet held ideologically by a narrative thread that runs through the entire œuvre, weaving the individual creative phases into a web of domestic and feminine references and associations.


Liliane Tomasko exhibits internationally and has works in public collections that include the Kunstmuseum, Bern; Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin; K20 K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf; Kunsthalle Karlsruhe; Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich; Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich; Hilti Art Foundation, Schaan; IVAM-Institut Valencia d'Art Modern, Valencia, Spain; Albertina, Vienna.