The Gold Thread is a new collection of work from the Max Gimblett studio in New York. The colourful gilded works in their tropical colours are spiritual and alive, with acid palettes and bold clear brushwork. The dark works, in contrast, are more serious. Studio manager, Matt Jones, describes them as 'answers to questions', they've decided what's right and what's wrong. The gold and silver works represent individualism; they are old magicians, as though heading for retirement, leaving behind their alchemy.
The perspectival grids add a unique time and place to the works. The grids are different to the strokes and the rich build-up of gestural colour, instead the flashy light of the gridded metal zips our eyes in a filmic manner across the picture and back again, over and over; a car racing through space.
Max Gimblett is a prominent New Zealand painter. His philosophies and practices encompass influences as varied as Abstract Expressionism, Modernism, Eastern and Western spiritual beliefs, Jungian psychology and ancient cultures.
In 2009 Gimblett became one of the first New Zealand artists to have an artwork exhibited in the Guggenheim in New York. Lion (1985) was included in the exhibition titled The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860 - 1989. The piece hung next to works by international heavyweight artists such as Robert Motherwell, James Whistler, Robert Rauschenberg, Nam June Paik, John Cage and Yoko Ono and is now part of the Museum's permanent collection.
His international significance was further cemented with his inclusion in another major exhibition in the United States, this time at the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2011. The exhibition The Word of God, was a series of one-person shows representing each of the world's five major religions; Islam, Judaism, Christianity. Buddhism and Hinduism, Gimblett was the representative of Buddhism.
Born in New Zealand, Gimblett has been primarily based in New York since 1972, and continues to exhibit regularly in both locations. The mix of cultures and aesthetics is evident in Gimblett's work, which consists largely of object based paintings. His shaped canvases convey various associations and meanings connected to the oval, rectangle, tondo, keystone, and the quatrefoil, for which Gimblett is most recognised. The use of the quatrefoil refers to a multiplicity of meanings as it 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.