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Marise Maas is an Australian artist of Dutch heritage, now based in Melbourne. Maas emigrated to Australia with her family at the age of 13. After studying Printmaking at the Tasmanian School of Art, Maas eventually moved to Amsterdam in 1993. After some years of printmaking and painting in Amsterdam, she established her roots in Melbourne.
Maas addresses the seemingly “unimportant” in her paintings encouraging the viewer to take note of small details. In this way, Maas tells entire stories in bite-sized pieces.
Maas works to express emotions in her work, albeit minimally. She primarily consumes herself with formal art techniques, such as composition, line, shape and texture. Working in the tradition of abstract art, Maas embraces both texture and flat spaces, utilising large, monochrome spreads. Against a backdrop of grey and black, Maas often brings her paintings to life with bolts of orange, red or turquoise. This allows her to possess the viewer’s attention, and direct it to where she would like them to linger.
A key source of inspiration in Maas’ work has been horses and horse riding. Maas grew up riding horses, and by repeatedly depicting horses, she expresses the human qualities of desire and longing. Maas works to capture the beauty of everyday life, finding the practice of painting itself to be meditative. By putting brush to canvas, Maas feels any anxiety or worry wash away, allowing her to focus on and appreciate the little things that are part of her daily routine.
Maas’ paintings are highly appealing in that they embrace the uneventful and ordinary moments of life. These moments are, of course, the building blocks of our lives. Our routines and habits are what shape us, whether that’s the way we fold our laundry, where we go for our daily walk, or how we like our coffee. The highs and lows of our lives simply unfold within these smaller moments.
Maas says she has always ‘been interested in glorifying the banal. If you look closely at the smaller details, you’ll find huge stories’.
Maas’ artwork is represented in numerous collections both locally and globally. This includes the National Gallery of Australia, Flinders Lane Gallery, Artbank, BHP Billiton, Swinburne University of Technology and the National Australia Bank Collection. She has also participated at group exhibitions which have been held at Hill Smith Gallery and Gadfly Gallery.