Irish painter Tom Climent produces paintings of figurative, urban and landscape subjects. His most recent work tends to focus on the creation of a structured space, while investigating the boundaries between abstraction and representation.
These investigations are performed using paint. As traces of memories and feelings accumulate and overlap on the canvas, construction and deconstruction become active tools in the creation of his paintings.
Referencing landscape, various types of structures and natural phenomena, the compositions range from the visually complex to simple basic structures. His manipulation of the materials, scale and weight of these structures obscures their basic properties and any identifiable purpose. His work touches on our relationship with the spatial, formal and emotional qualities of architecture. It suggests a narrative but never actually revealing what that might be.
His work process is largely intuitive, the act of painting for him starts a process of discovering unintended connections and relationships, of searching for reason and meaning in the unique situation that emerges. The first marks and compositions create the environment for a process that requires him to constantly re-evaluate what’s important so he can find out what the painting will be.
‘ Tom Climent can create spectacularly dramatic paintings. With a characteristic and impressive use of chiaroscuro, areas of darkness are counter-balanced by vibrant colour. For him, the process of painting is both spontaneous and meditative, informed by his knowledge of art history yet not constrained by it. His art speaks directly to the emotions of the viewer, and avoids the predominant preoccupation of postmodern practice, such as irony, repetition, or references to popular culture.
Climent’s intense colour and intuitive composition remain a constant in his work, as he continues his exploration of the richly rewarding interplay between his subconscious emotional world and the physical process of painting.’
Alannah Hopkin ( Representing Art in Ireland/ The Fenton Gallery Book)
‘He is an innately good painter and a fantastic colourist,’ declared Cork gallerist Nuala Fenton in 2005. ‘His work is developing all the time, which makes him all the more interesting to follow…There is a real sense of energy and drama about his work, but there is also something very emotional about it and it’s very subtle.’ Fenton was right to note how Climent’s work is still developing as he continues to discover his own potential. Recent paintings tend to possess an architectonic quality. No longer a young artist, he continues to dazzle with his painterly pyrotechnics.
Robert O’Byrne (Dictionary of Living Irish Artists)
Previous solo shows include Between Chance and Rhyme at The Hunt Museum, New paintings at the The Fenton Gallery, Pure at The Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dust at the Garter Lane Arts Centre, Hansels House at the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dancing Parade at the Triskel Arts Centre, Final State at the BlueLeaf Gallery, Vessels at The Luan Gallery, and In its Reflection at Solomon Fine Art. He has an upcoming solo exhibitions with The Sternview Gallery in Cork and Custom House Gallery & Studios in Mayo.
His work has been selected for the annual exhibitions at the RHA and RUA. Recently he was selected for the Oriel Davis Open at the Oriel Davis Gallery in Wales and the ARTWORKS and HORTONS PRIZE at VISUAL in Carlow. In Spring 2016 he took part in Irish Wave, a collaborative exhibition in Shanghai and Beijing.
He has participated in group exhibitions in London with the Herrick Gallery and in New York with the J. Cacciola Gallery and The Painting Center.
He is a recipient of the Heinrich Boll Cottage Residency, Ballinglen Arts Foundation Fellowship 2016, Cork City Council Individual Artists Bursary Award 2014, Working Art Grant 2014, Tony O’Malley Travel Award, Victor Treacy Award and a Department of Foreign Affairs Travel Award.
His work is in the collections of The Irish Central Bank, The Irish National Treasury Management Agency, University College Cork, University College Dublin, University of Limerick, Smurfit Business School, AIB Bank, The National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland, NCB Stockbrokers, The Cork Opera House, Cork City Council, The Irish Office of Public Works, Cork Institute of Technology, The American Embassy in Dublin, Deloitte, Investec and private collections in Ireland, UK, Spain, France, USA & Canada.