Roman Tolici

Born in 1974, in the Republic of Moldova, Roman Tolici studied at the special school of fine arts in Chișinău, before settling in Bucharest, in 1990, on a Romanian state grant, as student at the “Nicolae Tonitza” School of Art who would later graduate from the graphic arts department of the National University of Art. In his early years, Roman Tolici was intensely preoccupied with a means of representation more commonly associated with animation (Oana Tănase). But the path turned out to become much broader in the years that followed. The virtuosity and volubility of his canvases, narrative force, elaborated composition and rhythm – all qualities highly present in the series of works exhibited along the time, qualify him as one of the established artists of the Romanian art scene. The photographic realism of Tolici’s works exhales an understated poetry. Roman Tolici works almost as a film director on his canvases, re-arranging snapshots of everyday life and re-composing the beauty of this world – sometimes full of drama, other times simply mundane, but always so unique in its passing moment of fluttering existence.

Selected exhibitions

  • 2015: SIMVLACRVM, Mobius Gallery, Bucharest
  • 2014: MILK. HONEY. BLOOD. Stirbei Palace, Bucharest
  • 2014: CEREMONIES, The National Art Museum of Moldova, Chisinau
  • 2012: SWEET NIGHTMARES, H’art Gallery, Bucharest
  • 2012: SENKI, Herman Ottó Museum, Miskolc
  • 2011: GRAFIK UND MALEREI, Ross+Ross Galerie, Stuttgart
  • 2011: NOBODY, Jecza Gallerry, Timişoara
  • 2010: ACTION, Virtuell-Visuell, Dorsten
  • 2010: PREVIEW:ACTION, Galeria Posibila, Bucharest
  • 2009: BARBER’S SHOP, Romanian Cultural Institute, Prague
  • 2009: FOREVER YOUNG, Collectiva Gallery, Berlin
  • 2008: FUCK, Lukovni Salon, Celje
  • 2008: IT COULD HAPPEN TOMORROW, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest
  • 2008: PARK, The Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu
  • 2007: FUCK (Work of the month), National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest
  • 2006: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SANTA CLAUS, H’art Gallery, Bucharest
  • 2006: RECENT DRAWINGS, Galeria Posibila, Bucharest
  • 2005: IN EXITUS, H’art Gallery, Bucharest
  • 2004: HERE-AND-NOW, Galeria Posibila, Bucharest
  • 2002: FANTASMAGORICA, deINTERESE Gallery, Bucharest

SIMVLACRVM by Roman TOLICI - snapshots of an evening to remember

"The time of our life is the time of simulacra, devouring all aspects of our existence - communication, ideology, economics, media and environment, food, feelings, Art... Simulacra - so present and so obtrusive, imitating the original so well that we start perceiving them as real and true. I tried to research this Truth revealed by the post-modern era - namely that there is no truth." (Roman Tolici, in an interview by Violeta Năzare) photo credit Vlad Dumitrescu » Read More

SIMULACRUM in the Contemporary Culture and Society

"Double Exposure" with Roman TOLICI & Andrei GHEORGHE discussing the thin line between reality and illusiveness at Mobius Gallery Saturday, October 31st, 6 p.m. » Read More

ROMAN TOLICI Book Release & Exhibition

​Mobius Gallery, in partnership with Pandora M Publishing and Kontakt Association, is pleased to announce the November 25th 2016 release of ROMAN TOLICI artist book, with an ample essay written by Pascal Bruckner and snapshots of conversations the artist had with the curator Oana Tănase, over the years. The book release is doubled by an eponymous exhibition which encompasses never exhibited before paintings of Roman Tolici. The exhibition is on display until December 2nd, at Mobius Gallery. » Read More


curated by Simon Hewitt On display from October 8th to November 14th at Mobius Gallery "The simulacrum is never what hides the truth - it is truth that hides the fact that there is none. The simulacrum is True." J. Baudrillard » Read More

Roman Tolici

What I like about Tolici is the indifference towards dominant aesthetic doctrines: he mocks the rancid avant-gardes who were calling the shots not long ago, who were forcing the artist to destroy any representation, lest he was accused of crime against conservatism. He does not exhume any radical, surrealist, situationist, abstract or conceptual theory to justify his work, as he does not need to apply an ideology or a theory to illustrate his inspiration. Moreover, he breaks away from the posture of academic subversion, so frequent and so well-paid in the West. One of the most striking aspects about the last decades is, indeed, the reconciliation of the bourgeois and the bohemian, almost interchangeable henceforth, all under the aegis of the art market. The former longs for the freedom and authenticity of the latter, who flaunts his rebellion against the system, so as to sell his works for a good price. It is not only the wealthy who are fascinated with the artists; it works the opposite way as well: the artist wants the panache of subversion, plus a comfortable income. He wants to win on both levels: the harmless transgression and the proceeds resulting from it (see Jeff Koons, Anish Kapoor and Damian Hirst). So many elements that sometimes make one feel that contemporary art has become a big hoax, in the service of a purely capitalist logic. (Pascal Bruckner) » Read More


Many artists, after achieving success, stick to the style that has brought them it. Not Tolici. Although his brushwork retains its Ingresque precision, now with an even defter touch, his vision has morphed from photo-realist to surrealist. It is impossible to explain the eleven paintings in SIMVLACRVM in rational fashion. They come in different sizes and formats – some large, some small; some vertical, some horizontal; one can even hang at a diagonal. There is humour, irony, hope, hopelessness, magnificent painting and neo-Vorticist spatial awareness. Some canvases are busy, others almost empty. The underlying message? You tell me. Each work creates a world of its own. These paintings exist to be absorbed. (Simon Hewitt) » Read More


There Is No Hope, 2014, oil on canvas, 242 x 150cm, from the series SIMVLACRVM

There Is No Future, 2015, oil on canvas, 80x60cm, from the series SIMVLACRVM

There Is No Sign, 2014, oil on canvas, 150 x 242 cm, from the series SIMVLACRVM

There Is No Simulacrum, 2015, oil on canvas, 242 x 450 cm, from the series SIMVLACRVM

Zero, 2011, oil on canvas, 180 x 180, from the series "Honey"

Four, 2012, egg tempera and oil on canvas, 180 x 180 cm, from the series "Honey"

Six, oil on canvas, 2011, 180 x 180 cm, from the series "Honey"

Sweet Bucuresti, 2012, egg tempera, oil on canvas mounted on wood, 20 x 29 cm

Sweet Ghetlova, 2012, egg tempera, oil on canvas mounted on wood, 20 x 29 cm, from the series "Sweet Nightmares"

Nobody 9, egg tempera and oil on canvas, 60 x 30 cm, 2011, from the series "Nobody"