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image: CHRIS SKELTON/Fairfax NZ
DIANA DEKKER Diana Deckker reviewed On A Clear Day, Max's solo exhibition at Page Blackie Gallery, in Zen, art and alchemy.
I feel most sure of myself, my spiritual life is growing. I'm happy with the fact I became a Buddhist monk. I'm constantly in touch with my [Buddhist] teacher. He has the full robes and I have what my wife calls my bib, which I wear when I go to temple." - Max Gimblett
On A Clear Day is open now through March 31 at Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington!
"Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it."
An idyllic state of mind. A clean and beautiful place, perhaps in the country, in a meadow, under an ancient tree, sitting with one’s thoughts, free and ponderous. The insight of thought existing separate from day to day consciousness, the forced multitasking of our lives, jobs, entertainment, relationships and interactions, breathing, hearts beating, blood flowing, neurons firing along pathways throughout a system made up of a collection of cells and water. All mind, no mind. A mind not fixed or occupied by thought or emotion and thus open to everything. On a Clear Day is the poetic painted expression of this concept and the setting for a hero’s journey.
As a theoretical physics addict I find it impossible to look at works like On a Clear Day, Atlantis, A Garden of Earthly Delights, Lighthouse, Four White Leopards, Land’s End, and especially Inner Sanctuary, without leaping into science fiction and what is becoming science fact. Just recently a group of physics Masters students at England's University of Leicester discovered that traveling at Warp Speed or engaging the fictional Hyperdrive of Star Wars one would not see elongated stars zooming past. Instead, one would see a centralized glow as the Doppler Effect would pull stars out of our visual spectrum, replaced with a new x-ray radiation light. The science fiction world has yet to compensate for numerous decades of incorrect assumptions on the visual aspects of space travel.
Luckily a painter need not worry about correction of this kind. One cannot be proven to paint incorrectly. Painting by its very nature is already truth, capable of reinterpretation, recreation, and re-imagination. He is free to play with light. Contributing skillfully to our understanding of the visible planes in painting, his pictures are constructed layer by layer with intense discussion and thought between himself and his assistants before and after each move is made. “Does this one get geometries?” he may ask us, referring to the dot patterns that feature in a number of paintings in this exhibition. Depending on our feelings about the compositional strength of the underlying ground and form of his early layers of calligraphy, we utter a “yes” or a “no”. This depends largely on our taste and vision for his work. If he’s not feeling it, not in agreement with our assessment, he’ll take a painting down and lean it face into the wall. “Put a sticky note on this, it’s getting geometries.” Sometimes a finished painting only requires a vigorously colored ground with a calligraphic mark on top. Sometimes a painting needs many layers of resin on top of variously gilded precious metal leaves, above and below brush strokes, under layers of undulating dot patterns. Lighthouse and Four White Leopards play with this idea of space, what Gimblett calls “unders” and “overs”, that is, the complex articulation of different understandings and representations of space existing within the two dimensional plane of the surface of a painting.
It’s this shifting of layers of light through resin, bounced off of precious metals, and scattered across the surface of the paintings that really sings to the symbolic representation of multiple dimensions of existence taking place concurrently. Material is content. Max’s working definition for a symbol is something between the known and unknown. This qualifies all of his paintings as symbols.
The live action Jason versus Ray Harryhausen's stop motion skeletons scene from Jason and the Argonauts has played in my mind a few times since beginning my lifetime residency as Gimblett's assistant and not manager. I've hunted it down on Youtube and played it more than once when, with a shout of "The Golden Fleece!" during a titling session on the Bowery, I am reminded of the film's raw creative brilliance. Gimblett's sixty-inch quatrefoil lifts its title from the film and the painting depicts a clear battle between good and evil aided by the concept of dualism Gimblett often speaks about. The narrative mythology he draws power from never leaves his panels and canvases. Jason and the Argonauts, the painting, is itself a shield. The painting itself is a shield and the symbol for a shield and what a shield represents - protection, strength, beauty. Its dominant white ground hints at it being Jason's shield but the aggressive swipes of the war colors of red and black combine with the golden luxury of the demon gracing one of the skeletons' shields, to maintain the push, pull, and mystery of the unknown. The alchemist's role is not to choose sides but to observe, acquire knowledge and experience. To employ them to their fullest. This is the responsibility of the artist.
A fireman friend of mine once told me I should never let the truth get in the way of a good story. I’ve heard more than one person say that if we repeat a story enough times it becomes the truth regardless of what actually happened. Gimblett is a master storyteller. He spun out a memory of his time at Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy, at the Rockefeller Foundation. The Assistant Director of the Foundation would visit him in the morning and bring with her a different exotic dead Italian butterfly as a gift. She did this a few times and Max would draw these butterflies and make watercolors inspired by them. He sold a few to other residents of the Foundation. One day the Assistant Director said she was going to visit her husband’s grave. He had died within the previous year. Max asked if he could join her on the walk. For as long as I’ve known him he’s been fascinated by death, karma, and rebirth. Standing at the gravesite 10,000 white butterflies appear and circle them.
When Max tells this story his eyes expand beyond his lids. It’s clear that this story has intense symbolic meaning for him. The butterflies, Max says, were the Assistant Director’s dead husband. They could be any number of spirits commonly found in graveyards in the area. The butterflies in the story remind me of the Kodama, forest spirits of ancient Japanese folklore, watchers over something of great power, importance, and spiritual value. The large number of butterflies, ten thousand, offer perhaps another layer of meaning present in his use of warped and shifted geometric forms. They can also be the famous ten thousand things of Buddhism, that is, everything else in the universe.
From personal stories to more well known cultural mythology, the narrative impulse continues through to Dionysus, Atlantis, and The Lords of the Earth. As Gimblett pays homage to these heroes and lands mythological in origin he, too, gives his respect and gratitude to those who his artistic lineage is derived from. He pays particular attention to an Early Italian Renaissance painter (Ascension After Fra Angelico), a 20th Century American (Land’s End - After Jasper Johns), and a 20th Century New Zealander (Homage to Colin McCahon). The relationship between his work and all the work that has come before his, is strong. Lineage is of vital importance to Max. He’s told me about how he values the mentors he’s encountered in his lifetime and how grateful he is to have them in his life. “A teacher need not be living and you don’t have to have ever met them. Many of my mentors teach me with their art and with their books”. Heroes of Max’s like Picasso, Hemmingway, and his very dear and beloved Len Lye, have pushed Max to be the painter he is today. Their example and shared experience has laid the foundation for a practice spanning five decades without a hint of slowing down.
The most important metaphor presented in the works in On a Clear Day is that of the mythical Jason. Leaving his home, and everything he’s known, he quests for the Golden Fleece, so that when he returns he will take his rightful place as king. This is the quest of every painter. Each day we leave the comfort of a conventional life, of the normal day to day, and we spend hours talking about and working with ideas and feelings. We perform tremendous creative physical acts while searching for that, which will permit us to take our rightful place as Kings. Max has left the safety of home countless times and always returns, fleece in hand, prepared to rule justly and with great passion. He wakes up every morning looking forward to doing it all over again.
Matt Jones (born 1980, Rochester, New York) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Jones received his BFA from The Cooper Union, was awarded the Vera T. Carroll Prize for Painting, and attended the Yale Norfolk Summer School of Painting.
Jones works between a variety of inter-related genres that explore astronomy, theoretical physics, ancient history, the occult, and comedy – all developed and inspired by research and personal experience. Together his bodies of work form a way for Jones to interact with, evaluate, negotiate, and play with the world around him.
Jones has exhibited at a number of prominent galleries and institutions including the Morris Museum, Mass MoCA, NADA Art Fair, The Hole, Freight and Volume, and Anonymous Gallery. Jones’s work has been reviewed in Purple Diary, I-D, and NY Arts Magazine, Art Net, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Paper Magazine to name a few. Jones continues to work with The Hole (New York) and Anonymous Gallery (Mexico City).
He has worked with Max Gimblett for twelve years.
From Webb's IMPORTANT PAINTINGS & CONTEMPORARY ART catalog:
Based in New York for the past 40 years, Max Gimblett has established himself as New Zealand’s premier expat expressionist. He has earned this reputation by diligently exploring the possibilities of a streamlined formal vocabulary in which Eastern mysticism and Western abstraction intersect, often with eye-catching results.
Transcending The Dust Of The World - After Shih-Tao! is an excellent example of the artist’s distinctive style. Painted in 2008, its lineage lies in a series of works Gimblett displayed in the Guggenheim Museum’s exhibition The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia. The piece is achieved with a typically stripped-back palette of subtle greys and dense blacks, with flourishes of Swiss gold leaf floating atop an epoxied surface. Like all great abstract paintings, Transcending The Dust Of The World evokes rather than represents its subject matter. Its title refers to the 17th-century landscape painter and poet Shih-Tao, and the abstracted forms within it follow the traditions of the Chinese master to whom it is dedicated. Black ribbons of paint snake across a gesso ground, approximating the mountain ranges that frequently populate the work of Gimblett’s artistic forebear. A Zen Buddhist, Gimblett’s belief in reincarnation is well known, and here he presents in paint a conversation that spans the centuries.
Equally, the work’s origins might be traced to the abstract expressionists who dominated American art in the middle of the 20th century. Like the paintings of Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell and Clyfford Still, Gimblett’s piece is gestural, viscerally evoking the artist’s act of creation. The work also makes manifest Gimblett’s long-standing interest in calligraphy, first piqued in childhood and later developed with an eye to the masters of the East. Here his forms weave across the surface like curious characters: the result of an assured hand capable of both fluidity and power.
Perhaps due to Gimblett’s background in pottery, Transcending The Dust Of The World is as sculptural as it is painterly. No reproduction can adequately simulate the way that light animates the work – to obtain its full effect, viewers must approach the painting and absorb themselves in its presence. They will then notice that the Swiss gold leaf shifts in hue from silver, to green, to gold, as the eye traces its textured surface. All the while, black swathes bands of acrylic paint twist and turn below: free-floating forms locked in suspended animation. Transcending The Dust Of The World presents an ambiguous pictorial space, an untethered perspective in which its composite elements move forward or back at the mercy of the viewer’s perception, creating a dynamic relationship between figure and ground.
Indeed, this is a painting of and about relationships: not only between figure and ground, but between tradition and change, forebear and follower and, most especially, between artwork and viewer. Like all good art Transcending The Dust Of The World is a work which encourages the development of a relationship over time. Like all good art, it doesn’t reveal itself at once but slowly, seductively, layer by layer.
The Ballad of the South Pacific
28 November 2012 - January 2013
Preview: Tuesday 27 November, 5-7pm
An Insight into Max Gimblett's studio
Monday through Thursday from eight in the morning until four or five in the late afternoon I spend my hours with Max as I've done for the last twelve years. I witness and participate to one degree or another in every step of his practice. I can break down each moment of a painting and single out the materials and methods employed. Over the years it's become clear to me that Max's work arrives from the fingertips of a sorcerer plunging the depths of our collective imagination to pull works of great power, beauty and alchemic mastery.
The monumental works of The Ballad of the South Pacific began as most of Max's paintings begin. Stretchers are ordered to his specifications from an art supply company in Brooklyn and arrive a week later. Giovanni Forlino and Kristen Reyes, Max’s two studio assistants, stretch number twelve cotton duck over the bars to Max's desired tightness. Max applies several layers of gesso in a manner similar to his well known all mind / no mind calligraphic work with more brutish muscularity - the task at hand warrants a twist on the familiar finished technique. He starts from the top left and paints across the length of the surface. It takes several rows of this up and down left to right before the canvas is covered. One paints differently when filling space than when exploring it. There is some light sanding of gesso between layers. We sit and discuss ideas of Da Vinci's Vitruvian Figure, human scale in a space, and its relationship to these large canvases. We talk about the body in space relative to the canvas. We talk about the monolith in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Leda and The Swan - In Memoriam - For Cy Twombly seems to exist underwater looking towards the surface. Various Earth and Fire elements participate in an ancient ritual - or perhaps play, courting one another, the marriage of creative forces born in the seas. The title is inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke's poem Leda, the story is from Greek Mythology (a frequent source for inspiration as is also revealed in The Princess Mnemosyne and Odysseus - After Willem de Kooning). Rubens, Cezanne, and Dali have painted Leda. Twombly, to whom the painting is dedicated, abstracted this story of Zeus seducing Leda, daughter of the Aetolian king Thestius, in the form of a swan, in his painting from 1962. Max pays homage here. Max's painting has a fluid sensuality encompassing the tale it tips its hat to with powerful, clear, and direct marks on its oceanic ground.
Max locates and pays respect to his artist lineage via his references to those who came before him, the works they've made, and his dedication to his painting practice.
Hemmingway is an ancestor in this lineage. Max adores him, reads everything he's written over and over again, religiously. "Hemmingway is a mentor to me, a hero. Hemmingway is my father." There's a relationship between Hemmingway's short stories and his ability to describe a life, eating, drinking, and human behaviour that formed Max as an artist and I believe updated his interest in the heroic, romantic, and mythological into a modern form specific to Max and his time. Across the River and into the Trees comes from Hemmingway.
Max often starts his paintings, the calligraphic portion, from the top left or right corner and I've heard him refer to the "edge" more than a few times as it has great significance for him. He's an edge painter, brought up on the edge of the South Pacific. The two most important aspects of a painting for him are the centre and the edge. "With a rectangle you have to frame your form, with a quatrefoil it's a frame in itself," he says. The rectangles are a return to a shape he hasn't worked with since 1979 and the last 70 x 90" double bar Sacred Geometry painting. He had gotten it into his head that the rectangle wasn't a shape anymore. It was generalized. "You had to invent an image to fit the rectilinear space and never knew what distance to travel vertically or horizontally." I asked him why he's painting them now, we had a laugh and he then said "when you don't do something for twenty to thirty years it's very refreshing to do it."
Prior to sending the works from the Bowery to Auckland they live in stacks around the studio waiting to be wrapped. They look like the unbound books of a giant. We talk about how Max’s paintings are partially derived from Illuminated Medieval manuscripts.
These paintings are the colossal pages containing the stories of Max’s mythology.
Knowing what I do about the process of the works, the conversations around them, the references and sources of inspiration I tend to suspend it all and imagine Max up late, fuelled by coffee, paint dripping from his hands dipping his brush into a smouldering cauldron of liquid metal and with a great shout heaving the brush in an intense fluid motion across the glassy surface of a painting, the molten metal cooling in seconds, leaving alchemic waves frozen in time.
Max Gimblett featured in Gary Snyder Gallery's booth at Miami Project during Art Basel Miami Beach 2012.
9th October 2012
British celebratory artist Damien Hirst to exhibit at Nadene Milne Gallery along side famous New Zealand artist, Max Gimblett.
Exhibition Title:The Beauty & Brutality of Fact Damien Hirst & Max Gimblett
Opening Night:19 Oct 2012 Exhibition
Dates:19 Oct – 9 Nov 2012
Nadene Milne Gallery will exhibit a selection of limited edition works on paper from two of Damien Hirst’s acclaimed print series: The Dead (2009) and The Souls (2010). This is a rare opportunity for Central Otago audiences to view artwork by one of the most famous contemporary artists of this era. Works by Max Gimblett will include a stunning group of his finest gold and silver quatrefoils and limited edition works.
Damien Hirst (b. 1965, UK) has become famous for his radical art practice and his record-breaking auction prices. His 4.3 m shark immersed in formaldehyde became the most iconic work of British art in the 1990s. Hirst is arguably the most famous contemporary artist of this era.
The Dead (2009) and The Souls (2010) envelop some of Hirst's well-known concerns: death and life, and beauty and desire. In The Souls butterflies, as symbols for both the beauty of life and its impermanence, become metaphors for faith and death, while the skull imagery in The Dead make overt reference to mortality. Laid out like museum specimens, Hirst has beautified his subjects through the use of block foil printing. Of The Souls Hirst has said: “I love butterflies because when they are dead they look alive. The foil block makes the butterflies have a feel similar to the actual butterflies in the way that they reflect the light. After ‘The Dead’ I had to do the butterflies because you can’t have one without the other” (Bracewell, M. (2010)).
Max Gimblett is a New York based New Zealand artist whose career spans over forty-five years. He is increasingly recognized as a key artist in the Asia Pacific region. This was demonstrated by his inclusion in The Third Mind 2009 Guggenheim show, which traced how artists working in the west have adapted and transformed eastern ideas and artistic forms into their practices.
NMG is delighted to be bringing these two artists together whose shared concerns with materiality and mortality will ensure a relevant and beautifully rendered exhibition.
In addition to the exhibition opening, a Damien Hirst documentary titled Damien Hirst, Thoughts, Work Life will be screened at Dorothy Browns cinema the same evening.
WHEN & WHERE
Friday 19th October
7pm for documentary screening at Dorothy Browns cinema, Arrowtown
8pm for exhibition opening at Nadene Milne Gallery, Arrowtown.
"Max Gimblett: The Holy Grail" Reviewed in Artforum
June 8, 2012
This was New Zealand–born, New York–based Max Gimblett's first solo show in several years, and his first at this gallery. It included thirty-three paintings produced in the past nine years, canvases dense with associations that spanned the globe. They revealed, among other interests, the artist's familiarity with Japanese calligraphy, Jungian psychology, and the practice of Buddhism.
Gimblett's palette is one reason the works resonate so widely. Fluorescent, explosive colors, such as fuchsia and acid green, call to mind Warhol's screenprints. Incandescent gold and red suggest Tibetan Buddhist paintings. And saturated, primary hues applied in broad brushstrokes evoke Barnett Newman and Willem de Kooning. Throughout, zigzags and twisted, centrifugal ellipses coalesce—dissonant spatial forms juxtaposed with one another.
A different set of associations is conjured by the shape of Gimblett's canvases. Since the early 1980s, the artist has favored the quatrefoil—a format that breaks with the notion of the canvas as a picture window. Suggesting a four-petaled flower, it also evokes the four cardinal points, the four dimensions, or the arms of the Eastern Orthodox cross. It is inspired by the Venues of Willendorf, primeval symbol of female fecundity, as well as by the completely male, quadrilobate design of the tsuba, the Japanese sword guard. Finally the form alludes to Carl Jung's four fundamental human activities—sensing, feeling, thinking, and intuiting—pointing toward the center of being, like a mandala of wholeness.
With each work, Gimblett creates new relationships among surface, color, and gesture. These variations constitute steps along the path of consciousness, to which the show's title, "The Holy Grail," also referred: the quest of the hero walking the Zen road. The artist's method is based in the practice of meditation. First, Gimblett centers himself, emptying and silencing his mind. Then he rapidly moves his arm, often his entire body, hurling a brush (or mop) at the canvas. The exuberant energy of these gestures leads one to thing that Gimblett is having the time of his life.
This spontaneity is combined with the laborious construction of layers. In Exodus Kimono, 2011, and Heaped Gold Piled-Up Jade, 2012, for instance, there are coats of white gesso, a background color, a brushstroke, a coat of epoxy, another brushstroke, and an application of precious metals—gold, silver, or copper foils. The eye moves among the complex, superimposed planes, tracing the artist's oscillation between diagonal shifts and twisted perspectives and free-floating brushstrokes.
By contrast, six sumi-ink-on-paper works and a black-and-white painting maintained an economy of means. Featuring single-stroke circles (inspired by the Zen enso), they emphasize the synchronicity between movement and a state of being, whether on a small or large scale. Like Gimblett's quatrefoils with their exhilarating colors, these seemingly reductive black-and-white works are also votive objects through which one can access transcendence.
—Ida Panicelli (Translated from Italian by Marguerita Shore)
Max Gimblett participates in Unbound: An exhibition in three chapters, curated by Hide Hatry at Dalhousie Art Gallery,
Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Max Gimblett participates in The Atlantic Conference Presents: The Final Frontier on April 21, 2012.
The Atlantic Conference Presents:
The Final Frontier
"The truth is usually just an excuse for a lack of imagination."
James T. Kirk
Opening and Closing Reception April 21, 2012, 7-10pm
340 Morgan Ave., Brooklyn, NY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Art is a way one can express themselves without the concern of boundaries. I feel a lot of people often think of art as "being creative," even though it's much more than that. "Being creative" comes in various forms. The way you brush your teeth is creative because it's your own technique; and the outfit you choose to wear out of the house in the morning is creative since it's your own style.
I like the idea of there being another Tali Autovino in the universe somewhere, for I have spent several hours of my life trying to determine what animal I 'll reincarnate into in my next life, even though all signs point to an aardvark. I haven't thought much about there being life on other planets, although David Bowie wrote a song about life on Mars.
I believe that if there is life on another planet, all the people will look like the Snorks. Our personalities will be represented by the color Snork we are, so developing relationships will be a lot easier. I'm not sure what the antennae thing on our heads will be good for, but like I said, we can "be creative" with it.
So, what do people mean when they say, "in an alternate universe…" or, "in what world…"? Your guess is almost as good as mine, even though I'm not sure what yours is. My guess is that when people say "in an alternate universe," they mean "if things weren't so bad, they'd be splendiferous," even though that's probably not true. We, as human beings, rely on a higher power whether that be God, a foreign world, or our mothers. It gives us a sense of comfort and sanctuary from a world that is entirely built on curiosity.
Tali Autovino, April 13, 2012
Confirmed artists include:
James Case Leal
Guy Richards Smit
more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Max Gimblett was born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1935. From 1962 to 1964, while living in Canada, he worked as a potter, an experience that has influenced his relationship to materials and process. In 1965, he moved to San Francisco, and began studying painting at the San Francisco Art Institute, and became friends with Phil Sims. It took Gimblett a decade to hit his stride.
From 1977 until 1982, he defined vertical, hard-edged geometric bars within a monochromatic field. He worked on squares and occasionally tondos, where he articulated a circle in the center of a monochromatic field. The rigidity of this approach caught up with him. He has often referred to it as a mid-life crisis. He had worked in a formalist manner until he was nearly fifty. He was connected with the “radical painting” group that included Marcia Hafif, Joseph Marioni, and Phil Sims. Dissatisfied, he stopped painting in 1982 and reevaluated; he wanted to reinvent himself. Read More.
Max Gimblett: The Holy Grail walk through with commentary by James Kalm
In his first New York showing since 2005, Max Gimblett displays a new series of works, many painted on quatrefoil-shaped canvases, and using an extensive spectrum of metallic leafs, reflective pigments and thick pourings of glistening lacquers and resins. These brilliant materials are then painted over with deceptively simple gestural brushstrokes that have the instantaneous spontaneity of Asian calligraphy or pared down action painting. The rear gallery features a selection of sumi ink drawings.
Max Gimblett: The Holy Grail on Structure and Imagery (Blog)
Gary Snyder Gallery is pleased to announce Max Gimblett: The Holy Grail, an exhibition of paintings and drawings at 529 West 20th Street. Opening on March 1, 2012, the exhibition is Gimblett’s first in a New York gallery since 2005. Fifteen of the artist’s luminous, gestural paintings will be on view, including four monumental, quatrefoil-shaped canvases. The exhibition will also feature a selection of sumi ink drawings, the creation of which is an integral part of Gimblett’s process.
The exhibition offers an in-depth look at the artist’s work since 2009—glossy, calligraphic abstractions in high-keyed hues, many of which feature large expanses of gold, silver, and aluminum leaf. Often, only a few brushstrokes or simplified shapes appear on the surfaces of these paintings. Works in the exhibition such as The Holy Grail (2009) and Exodus Kimono (2011) demonstrate Gimblett’s unique ability to create compositions of incredible depth and complexity with comparatively little.
Born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1935, Max Gimblett emigrated to Canada in 1962. Between 1962 and 1964, Gimblett apprenticed as a potter. In 1965, the artist arrived in San Francisco and began studying painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. While still a student, Gimblett came under the influence of Abstract Expressionist masters Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Robert Motherwell, as well as the sumi-e traditions of Rinzai Zen. In 1972, Gimblett relocated to New York. Two years later, the artist met pioneering filmmaker and sculptor Len Lye. The two formed a close friendship that lasted until Lye’s death in 1980. His emphasis on sudden and intuitive bodily movements had a profound impact on Gimblett’s work, one that continues until this day.
Over the last four decades, Gimblett has had solo exhibitions at many noteworthy galleries, including: A Clean Well Lighted Place (1971, Austin), Cuningham Ward Gallery (1976, 1978, New York), Nielsen Gallery (1976, 1979, Boston), White Columns (1988, New York), Gow Langsford Gallery (1991, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2011, Auckland), and Haines Gallery (1991, 1993, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2009, San Francisco). In 2002, the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, hosted a survey of Gimblett’s drawings. Two years later, in 2004, the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki mounted the first career ret- rospective of the artist’s work. In 2009, Gimblett’s paintings were featured in The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860–1989, a group exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. The following year, the Japan Society, New York, presented Oxherding, a series of ten drawings by Gimblett based on Lewis Hyde’s translation of a 12th-century Buddhist parable. Most recently, the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, hosted Max Gimblett: The Sound of One Hand, the fourth exhibition in their acclaimed series The Word of God.
Gimblett’s work is featured in the collections of major museums around the world, including: the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o T ̄amaki; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia; the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Gary Snyder Gallery is pleased to represent Max Gimblett.
Max Gimblett: The Holy Grail will be on view at Gary Snyder Gallery, 529 West 20th Street (between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues), through Saturday, April 7, 2012. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. For more information, please contact Garth Greenan at (212) 929-1351, or email email@example.com.
Max Gimblett: New Works on Paper, 2012
Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, NZ
click here to view
Max Gimblett: New York, New York
Works on Paper Exhibition at Nadene Milne Gallery, Arrowtown, New Zealand
click here to view
Max Gimblett's The Word of God - The Sound of One Hand at the Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, September 17- November 27.
Reviewed in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review by Kurt Shaw here.
Reviewed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Mary Thomas here.
From the Warhol Museum website:
Max Gimblett The Sound of One Hand is the fourth exhibition in The Word of God series, which examines major world religions and their texts through the lens of contemporary art. Sacred texts are considered by many to be the direct words of God to man. How this Word is passed down and received has been dependent on the cultures in which it is presented. This series explores the myriad of ways humans have sought to understand the Word of God and to pass it on through practice, text and imagery. In the case of New York artist Max Gimblett, Zen Buddhism is the tradition and the sacred texts are koans. A koan is a statement or question that can not be fully understood through rational thought alone. Koan study is a unique method of religious practice intended to bring the student to the direct, intuitive realization of the Ultimate Principle or Absolute Mind. A well-known koan example and the inspiration for the exhibition title is, Two hands meet and there is a sound; what is the sound of one hand? Featured in the exhibition are two of Gimblett’s koan books, Sage which includes ink drawings by the artist and koans from the book, The Zen Koan a series of published lectures on koan study by Roshi Isshu Miura. A Book of Broadway Koans is also on view which includes original drawings by Gimblett and poems by John Yau.
Gimblett’s paintings are born out of both Eastern and Western Philosophies about light and enlightenment. He is influenced by the Abstract Expressionist tradition of gestural painting as well as the art discipline of Sumi ink calligraphy. The process of painting is reverent; each splatter, drip, and stroke is imbued with the spiritual motion taught by Sumi masters. The shape of the stroke, the action and the expression are all tied into a meditative process. Using diverse pigments, resins, and precious metals, Gimblett creates surfaces that are transformed synonymous with the transformation of energy into spiritual thought.
Like the marks made, each of Gimblett’s canvases caries a symbolic meaning in its very shape. These shaped canvases whether circle, square, or quatrefoil with four equal domed sides, the contoured shapes reflect balance in relation to space, time and Zen thought. One of Gimblett’s most unique canvas shapes is the Enso. Ensō is a Japanese word meaning “circle” and is one of the tenets of Zen. Typically drawn in one stroke with a thick paintbrush, the enso represents absolute reality and the void in Zen art. The single stroke does not allow for any modification – the brushed circle represents the spirit of the moment of creation. Gimblett transforms this powerful circle into physical form while repeating it in ink and paint on endless surfaces.
Gimblett created new paintings for this exhibition demonstrating not only his interest in Warhol and the environment of the Museum but also his adventurous nature and intense love for work itself. “My art evolves. It’s different every year. At 75 I am no longer preoccupied with self. That’s been discovered and put aside. Now it’s not-self. There are new hybrid languages being born all the time and my work changes and shifts [. . .] There’s still much to do.” (Interviewed by Christopher Moore, The Press, Christchurch, NZ, March 13, 2011)
Read more at warhol.org
all image are courtesy the Warhol Museum, 2011.
Lewis Hyde and Max Gimblett's Oxherding, a collaboration on the ancient Chinese texts and ink paintings, opens at Kenyon College, Kenyon, Ohio, October 28, 2011.
Lewis Hyde and Max Gimblett's Oxherding is featured in Tricycle Magazine!
An interview between Max, Lewis Hyde, and Sam Mowe is published on the Tricycle website here.
The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze
2-26 February, 2011
Gow Langsford Gallery
and Gow Langsford Gallery at John Leech Gallery
Auckland, New Zealand
'Daring old man' skips along the highwire, TJ McNamara reivew of The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze in the New Zealand Herald
on the shores of infinity
Feb 8—Mar 6
Page Blackie Gallery
Wellington, New Zealand
The Perfect Mirror
Nadene Milne Gallery, 2011
Arrowtown, New Zealand