Max Gimblett’s recent body of work is both a continuation of past approaches as well as an incorporation of new ideas and directions. His new exhibition A very decided bright line at Gow Langsford Gallery – Auckland is timed to coincide with a major exhibition at the Auckland Art Gallery – The Brush of All Things.
Gimblett is known for his shaped canvases and use of precious metals – the quatrefoil, the ziggurat and the circle for instance. It is Gimblett’s intention in these works to explore the multiplicity of meaning attached to such revered materials and shapes. His philosophical position clearly embraces an Eastern and Western spiritual position in associating precious metals with honour, wisdom, light and enlightenment. His work explores ancient symbols and belief systems and the transformation of material and spiritual energies.
New shapes include the rounded square and the lotus flower – both derived from the quatrefoil shape.
Gimblett has applied formal geometric principles of symmetry to create these new forms yet the surface is treated as anything but formal. Instead, his familiar use of gesture is embraced with calligraphic markings revealing his working practise – markings can be created by “…slapping my foot and shouting. So, getting hysterical, and desperate, is a way to complete a work.” (Max Gimblett interviewed by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, This is a Stone from the Endless Beach, August 26, 2003)
As well, there is a new boldness with colour. Although colour has been consistent in Gimblett’s work, it has not been since the geo series of the early 1980’s that it has emerged in such force within one series of work. Blue, red and green swirl together with glossy white backgrounds to create energetic and dynamic surfaces.
Gimblett’s exhibition at Gow Langsford is timed to coincide with The Brush of All Things – a major survey show of Gimblett’s artistic career at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki. Curated by Wystan Curnow, this exhibition will run from 19 June – 29 August and together with A very decided bright line at Gow Langsford Gallery – Auckland will give viewers the unique opportunity to trace Gimblett’s work from the 1970s through to new works direct from his New York studio.