StudioMauriks

StudioMauriks

Australian Sculpture Now, Second Australian Sculpture Triennial, 1984

Mauriks was born in Holland, and left there for Australia when he was fifteen, hardly old enough to have decided on a future career in sculpture. In Holland the dominant tradition in art has always been painting, and sculpture has never had more than a minor role (perhaps because of the quality of the light and the lack of sharply defined shadows). This means that he came to sculpture unencumbered by any heavy baggage of normative forms from his birthplace.

From 1973 to 1977 Mauriks was a student of sculpture at the Victorian College of the Arts, emerging with a Graduate Diploma in Fine Art. By then he had clearly established an approach to sculpture which is best described as individual and muscular. Steel seems always to have been his preferred medium and in contrast to most other sculptors he treats it as if it were scarcely more than heavy-weight cardboard, Sheets of it are intricately cut and welded to produce narrative tableaux which also exist as powerful sculptural forms.

In matters of style, Mauriks seems destined always to be wrong-footed: whatever the current sculptural fashion, he manages to be doing something else. When abstraction was paramount he was figurative, when installation and environments were dominant, he was making steel object sculpture, and now that there is a return to the figurative in the offing, Mauriks is producing large non-representational pieces which in size at least, border on being installations. None of this, however, has affected the quality of his work.

Meeting place shown here, is a large multi-unit sculpture which in size, assertiveness and formality of presentation suggest a shrine hung with ritual objects, In many ways it can be seen as a synthesis which draws together in one grand climax the concerns which he has briefly dealt with in previous sculptures.

Graeme Sturgeon, 1984