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An image of Night volumes by Hilarie Mais

Hilarie Mais

(England, Australia 17 Jan 1952 – )

Night volumes
Other titles:
Night volumes II
Media categories
Sculpture, Painting, Installation
Materials used
oil on timber, oil on canvas

211.0 x 402.0 x 20.0 cm overall:

a - sculpture; 191 x 190.5 x 6 cm

b - painting; 191 x 191 x 6 cm

Signature & date
Signed and dated upper c. verso [part a], black fibre-tipped pen "Hilarie Mais 1996". Signed and dated u.r. verso on stretcher [part b], black fibre-tipped pen "Hilarie Mais 1996".
Gift of Michael Whitworth 2014. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number
© Hilarie Mais
Not on display
Further information

Since the early 1980s, Hillarie Mais has explored the potential of the grid as both composition and content. Her practice reflects the legacy of American minimalism of the late 1960s and 1970s, extending upon its concern with compositional systems, geometric form, and visual and spatial perception.

In 'Night volumes', a sculptural relief is paired with a stretched canvas that appears to mirror its composition. This dual structure creates a dialogue between real and illusory, whole and part, the abstract and the subtly referential - further to the shadowy associations of the work's title.

In spite of its rigorous geometry, on close inspection 'Night volumes' reveals a handmade look rather than machine aesthetic. The overall scale of each panel is based on the width of Mais's outstretched arms - an intimate index of the artist's body that runs counter to the work's seemingly cool compositional logic.

Bibliography (3)

Felicity Fenner, Australian art collector, 'Hilarie Mais: the unlocked grid', pg. 86-91, Sydney, Apr 2000-Jun 2000, 88, 91 (colour illus.). incorrectly dated 1997

Peter Hill, Hilarie Mais: survey of works 1974-2004, 'The grid as self portrait', pg. 8-12, Canberra, 2004, 10, 22, 23 (colour illus.).

Nick Waterlow, Hilarie Mais, Sydney, 1997, cover (colour illus.). incorrectly dated 1997

Exhibition history (3)

Hilarie Mais: new works, Galerie Düsseldorf, Australia, 19 Feb 1997–23 Mar 1997

Hilarie Mais: conversations, Sherman Galleries, Paddington, 01 Oct 1997–25 Oct 1997

Hilarie Mais: retrospective 1982-2004, Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra, 20 May 2004–04 Jul 2004