Tom Climent

Tom Climent is a painter based in Cork, Ireland.

He received a B.A in Fine Art in 1995 and a M.A by Research in 2011, both from the Crawford College of Art & Design.

He has exhibited extensively in Ireland. His work was recently selected for the juried exhibition The Retrieval of the Beautiful at The Painting Center in New York. In 2016 he showed as part of Irish Wave, a collaborative exhibition in Shanghai and Beijing and his work was also selected for the Oriel Davies Open 2016, an exhibition celebrating contemporary painting in all its diversity at The Oriel Davies Gallery in Wales.


My work over the last twenty years or so has varied from paintings of figurative, urban and landscape subjects, sometimes referencing the history of painting. My most recent work tends to focus on the creation of a structured space, while investigating the boundaries between abstraction and representation.

The paintings I’ve submitted here are focused around spatial constructs and how they might provide a structured space for our environment. Referencing landscape, various types of structures and natural phenomena, the compositions range from the visually complex to simple basic structures. By the manipulation of the materials, scale and weight of these structures, I try to obscure their basic properties and any identifiable purpose. The work touches on our relationship with the spatial, formal and emotional qualities of architecture. It suggests a narrative but never actually reveals what that might be.

The way I work is largely intuitive, painting for me starts a process of discovering unintended connections and relationships, of trying to searching for reason and meaning in each work that emerges. The first marks and structures create the environment for a process that requires me to constantly re-evaluate what’s important so I can find out what the painting will be. I feel as if I’m in a relationship with the painting, it guides me as much as I control it. This guiding influence contains beauty, and it is as much about a search to find an expression of it in the work.