In the spirit of impermanence — one of the core precepts of Buddhism—artworks in this solo show of the work of the 87-year-old Rinzai Zen monk Max Gimblett will rotate in and out of the galleries throughout the run of the exhibition.
Across the River features unique works on paper from renowned New York based artist Max Gimblett. The exhibition is something of an ode to American author Ernest Hemingway’s novel Across the River and Into the Trees, which was published in 1950 and left a remarkable impression on the artist when he first read the novel in his twenties. Hemingway has often been cited as a particular source of inspiration for the artist, with his prose on love and death resonating with Gimblett's own creative endeavour and his lifelong pursuit to articulate truth and humanity through his visual practice.
This exhibition is made up of a series of small new paintings by Max Gimblett. It encompasses his signature shaped canvas, the quatrefoil, along with Enso tondo works and rectangles in a mix of bright hues and reticent gold gilding. His unique blend of Eastern philosophy, calligraphy, and abstraction has made him one of this country’s most recognised and respected artists of his generation.
Max Gimblett’s Calligraphic Wonders
MARCH 16, 2023
by Mark Van Proyen
New York-based Max Gimblett was amazingly productive during the past three years of pandemic-related quarantine, so much so that the 18 paintings presented in this exhibition titled The Beginning of Time, are only a portion of a larger body of related works being unveiled over the course of three overlapping installations. The second, subtitled Spring into Summer, represents the latest iteration of this still-evolving show. Among many things, the 87-year-old artist is a Buddhist monk of the Rinzai school, the oldest of the three branches of Japanese Zen, suggesting that the different versions of this exhibition allude to the transitory nature of experience shaped by the notions of impermanence and non-attachment.
Excerpt from exhibition catalogue, The Open Road:
'Max Gimblett is a national taonga. Having moved to New York in 1972 as a young adult, he has maintained strong ties with his homeland while building a life for himself in the USA. In normal times he would spend around a month of every year in Aotearoa, visiting more than 55 times since 1959. His last visit was in 2019.
Despite the turmoil of recent years, as many artists have found, periods of confinement and restriction have had an unexpected impact on his studio practice. Without the distractions and the usual pressures of everyday life, Gimblett found renewed focus and ways of engaging with his practice. He was re-energized, and ultimately found this time highly productive. Inherent in this exhibition are the impacts of a culmination of changes over the last three years, in particular a new studio and newfound methods of working, both on his own and with his assistants.
New Zealand born artist Max Gimblett has primarily been based in New York since 1972 and his practice encompasses influences as varied as Abstract Expressionism, Modernism, Eastern and Western spiritual beliefs, Jungian psychology, and ancient cultures. With a similar interest in shapes and series to that of Tilson, Gimblett’s shaped canvases hold various associations and meanings connected to the oval, rectangle, tondo, keystone, and quatrefoil. The quatrefoil shape, an iconic feature of Gimblett’s work, 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.
An excellent review of The Disappearing Ox by Lewis Hyde and Max Gimblett
THE LEGEND OF THE CERAMIC MASTER
21 APRIL - 14 MAY 2022
LOS ANGELES – The Getty Research Institute has acquired an archive of more than 250 artist’s books. The Max Gimblett Artist’s Book Collection, created by painter, calligrapher, and Zen monk Max Gimblett, are a gift by the artist and his wife, scholar and curator Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett. These volumes join the GRI’s internationally known Artist’s Books Collection.
A half century ago, the maverick curator Dave Hickey closed down A Clean Well-Lighted Place. He left behind an art scene that would never be the same.
An article about Gimblett's show, "juggernaut," at Hosfelt Gallery by NZEDGE.COM.https://www.nzedge.com/news/arts/max-gimblett-shows-juggernaut-san-francisco/
8 September - 10 October, 2020
Hosfelt Gallery presents a solo exhibition of work by the esteemed 84 year-old painter, calligrapher, and Rinzai Zen monk Max Gimblett. The exhibition, entitled juggernaut, opens September 8, 2020 and is the artist’s first exhibition at the gallery.
An interview between Max Gimblett and "Ocean Wheel" curator Peter Vangioni.
1 August – 15 November 2020
A selection from the Max Gimblett and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett gift.
Max Gimblett: Original Mind documents the life and process of eccentric, creative genius Max Gimblett. One of New Zealand's most successful and internationally prominent living painters, Gimblett has been working in America since 1962. The filmmakers spent a week in Gimblett's Soho studio to reveal the techniques and philosophy behind his beautiful art.
A nzedge.com article exploring the upcoming Copper Canyon Press book collaboration with Lewis Hyde, "The Disappearing Ox," including biographical information on Gimblett and Hyde, and Gimblett's Oxherding images.
A Modern Version of the Classic Buddhist Text—Forthcoming September 2020 by Copper Canyon Press
A personal and insightful interview between Max Gimblett and Brian James, Medicine Path Podcast host and Yoga teacher.
Interview and article by Dionne Christian about Max's life and work and AUT bestowing an Honorary Doctorate upon him.
The Big Idea article about Max receiving an Honorary Doctorate from Auckland University of Technology.
STUFF article about Max Gimblett's life, work, philosophy, and recent exhibitions in New Zealand with Nadene Milne Gallery and Page Blackie Gallery.
Verve Magazine's article about Max Gimblett and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett written after a visit to their apartment during Max and Barbara's recent trip to New Zealand.