At the age of 90, Helen Maudsley is one of Melbourne’s most senior artists with an artistic practice spanning seven decades. From Friday 17 November, the National Gallery of Victoria will display 30 recent paintings and drawings by Maudsley in the solo exhibition, Our Knowing and Not Knowing.
Maudsley’s images use a distinctive visual language that is characterised by abstract shapes and symbols. These cylinders, circles and cubes offer clues for the viewer to decipher and interpret, and patterns, such as fragments of buildings or landscapes, begin to emerge from the repeated shapes in these consuming works.
Maudsley embraces ambiguity in her works, which she refers to as visual essays. A visual language, both personal and shared, of forms with rich and varied associations draw us into the artist’s reflections on human relationships and the world around her.
“Helen Maudsley’s recent practice represents a hugely vital and dynamic period in her longstanding artistic career,” said said Tony Ellwood, Director NGV. “Helen’s highly technical style draws the viewer into her reflections on human relationships and the world around us. At the age of 90, Helen is just as inquisitive, inventive and passionate as ever.”
The wife of fellow respected Australian artist John Brack, Maudsley has perfected her process oriented craft over many decades and continues to practice every day. With a career spanning from the dawn of Australian modernism through to contemporary art today, Helen continues to share her wealth of art knowledge and formal techniques by teaching art classes in Melbourne.
Our Knowing and Not Knowing: Helen Maudsley is one of five solo exhibitions by leading Australian artists for NGV Australia’s 2017-18 summer program, including Del Kathryn Barton, Mel O’Callaghan, Louise Paramor and Gareth Sansom.
Our Knowing and Not Knowing: Helen Maudsley
Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne
Exhibition: 17 November 2017 – 12 March 2018
For more information, visit: www.ngv.vic.gov.au for details.
Image: Helen Maudsley in her Melbourne studio – photo by Selina Ou