Ildiko Kovacs: The DNA of colour

Dates & times

Fri 21 June — Sun 11 August 2019


ANU Drill Hall Gallery

Image: Ildiko Kovacs,_Raspberry, 201. Oil on card on Plywood, 79.5 x 82.5. Courtesy Martin Browne Contemporary


The DNA of Colour: ILDIKO KOVACS curated by Sioux Garside for Orange Regional Gallery and the Drill Hall Gallery and supported by Martin Browne Contemporary, this exhibition features a decade of Ildiko Kovacs’ roller paintings. 

‘In thinking about Kovacs’ abstract paintings I was struck by the resemblance of her spiralling lines to the coils of DNA,’ wrote Sioux Garside. ‘Her rippling forms seem to twist into a vortex or follow an unravelling double helix pattern.  The DNA code is a metaphor for the way these paintings unfold and move with colour, sparked by an excavation of inner feelings and intuition…Rippling is a term that scientists used to describe the movement of gravitational waves first discovered as ‘ripples in the fabric of space-time’ by Albert Einstein in 1905–08.’

Ildiko Kovacs [born 1962] is one of Australia’s foremost contemporary abstract artists. This exhibition spans the last ten years of painting by the prolific painter. It includes major paintings of mesmerising colour and scale selected from the National Gallery of Australia, the MCA and the AGNSW, along with rarely seen works on loan from notable private collections. Kovacs studied painting at the National Art School in Sydney and has exhibited widely throughout Australia, with solo exhibitions held regularly since 1988.

In 2010 Kovacs began to improvise a new style of paintings made with paint rollers on plywood. In these sumptuous paintings the vibrancy of colours and forms do not simply evoke deep feelings or intuitions; the paintwork itself becomes a record or visible trace of the act of painting. Our experience of looking at these paintings is both sensory and kinaesthetic.

We follow the action of the artist’s body and arm via the movement of the loaded paint roller as it layers and weaves relationships in time and space, curling, overlapping or intertwining lines like twin strands of an unravelling double helix of DNA code. Her recent paintings of 2018 use graphite pencil to deeply inscribe linear patterns into lustrous hues of oil paint.

The DNA of Colour celebrates the optical fizz and energy of Kovacs’ paintings while showing how this artist had made a new contribution to painting.


Opening Night Thursday 20 June 6PM       

Friday 21 June 12pm

Exhibition floor talk with artist Ildiko Kovacs, curator Sioux Garside and  other guests



The Drill Hall Gallery 2019 program of exhibitions has been generously supported by the ANU Visual Arts Foundation.


Updated:  17 May 2019/ Responsible Officer:  DHG Director/ Page Contact:  Drill Hall Gallery