Cloak – a New Zealand Childhood, 2001.
Delacroix & Caduceus, 1994.
Mountains and Text, 2001.
The Wheel, 1998.
With philosophies and practices that encompass influences as varied as Abstract Expressionism, Modernism, Eastern and Western spiritual beliefs, Jungian psychology and ancient cultures, Max Gimblett’s work holds a special place in recent New Zealand art history.
Born in New Zealand, Gimblett has been primarily based in New York since 1972, and continues to exhibit regularly in both places. This ‘straddling’ of countries, and the travel that goes along with it, is of great significance to Gimblett’s ideology and work. His range of shaped canvases covey the various aesthetic and cultural associations connected to the oval, rectangle, tondo, keystone, and quatrefoil, exploring the multiplicity of meaning attached to these revered objects. The quatrefoil shape, for instance, dates back to pre-Christian times and is found in both Western and Eastern religions symbolising such objects as a rose, window, cross and lotus.
Materials such as gold and silver draw upon their religious associations with honor, wisdom, enlightenment and spiritual energies, bringing a seductive quality to many of Gimblett’s works. Carefully prepared and cured, combinations of gold, silver, copper, bronze, epoxy, resin, plaster, paint and pigments also present a sense of extreme delicacy. However these serene surfaces are more often than not disturbed by bold gestural brush marks in acrylic polymers and paints, made using Gimblett’s extensive collection of brushes, mops and rollers. These drips, splatters and swipes of paint strongly ground his works in the tradition of American Abstract Expressionism; yet at the same time maintain a link to Eastern calligraphic practices.
Essays by Wystan Curnow & John Yau
Craig Potton Publishing
In Association with Gow Langsford Gallery