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Hilarie Mais brings the abstract to TarraWarra Museum of Art
The role of grids as a starting point for abstract artist Hilarie Mais is very apparent in the latest exhibition of her work at TarraWarra Museum of Art. Circles also feature as a motif in her paintings and constructions, and the merging of the two systems underlies much of her creative output.
She uses the interplay between light and shadow to great effect, especially in the works that are not 'hung' but exhibited leaning at a slight angle against the wall. Both her two-dimensional paintings and three-dimensional constructions evolve organically from patterns in nature. According to the artist, 'The outcome cannot be predetermined; it evolves, it can be a surprise.'
A concurrent exhibition, titled Modern Currents, further explores geometry, colour and abstraction and features works from the Museum's collection. An early piece by Howard Arkley combines his signature blurred outline with atypical restraint of colour, echoing the more monochromatic Mais works.
Pauses (Interchronic) 1976, synthetic polymer paint on canvas
At Tarrawarra, according to exhibiting artist Robert Owen, 'nature and culture sit side by side'. This is reflected not just in the current exhibitions, but in the architecture and design of the building in which they are housed.
It's always worth the trip down the Maroondah Highway to TarraWarra and this exhibition offers two for the price of one. And - even better - March 17 and 18 is Open Weekend with free museum entry. Go for the art and stay for the views.