'RES' 2010 constitutes Hilarie Mais' current search and discovery for new modes of 'abstract visualisation' with and from within the grid, as defined by 'formational principles of natural occurrence' (Wright, 2012). Mais has been critically engaged with this archetype since her Sydney Biennale installation 'Doors, thoughts: the maze' 1986, explaining that 'It is such a loaded historical structure, a modernist and ancient form, a layered icon. As with the spiral it has historical and cultural associations'.
The sculpture/painting has been irregularly assembled from varying lengths of interlocking vertical and horizontal wooden sticks, contained neither by frame or border. Mais has then hand-painted a scheme of interlinking pure red squares that are at once a description and outcome of its 'growth system' i.e. the decisions and steps made during the construction of the form. 'RES' is what the artist classifies an 'Indentifying structure'- viewed from a distance we instinctively experience Gestalt as the eye registers space and volume, the mind perceiving a unified network of cubes inside this shallow relief.
In Latin the title 'res' translates to a nonspecific 'thing' or 'occurrence'; appropriate considering how the artwork has generated organically from somewhere within itself.
oil on wood
210.0 x 210.0 x 4.0 cm
Signature & date
Signed u.r. verso, black fibre-tipped pen "Hilarie Mais". Dated u.l. verso, black fibre-tipped pen "... 2010".
Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2013
Not on display
© Hilarie Mais
Where the work was made
Shown in 4 exhibitions
Triptych: Mais, Mais Wright, Wright, Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra, 29 Sep 2011–06 Nov 2013
Hilarie Mais: identifying structures, William Wright/ Artists, Sydney, 11 Oct 2012–03 Nov 2012
Forcefields, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 28 Feb 2014–14 Sep 2014
Referenced in 3 publications
Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University (Compilator), ANU Drill Hall Gallery: Exhibition Program 2011, 'Triptych: Mais, Mais Wright, Wright', Canberra, 2011, n.pag. (colour illus.).
Sally Prior., The Canberra Times, 'Turning family tradition into an art form', Canberra, 29 Sep 2011, (colour illus.).
William Wright., Hilarie Mais, Identifying Structures, 'Hilarie Mais, Identifying Structures', Sydney, 2012, n.pag..