New Zealand artist Max Gimblett has been selected to participate in a ground-breaking group show at the Guggenheim Museum, New York. Scheduled to premiere in spring 2009, American Art and the Eastseeks to examine the impact of Asian philosophy and aesthetics on 20th century American art. While the artists included have not yet been officially released to the public, it has been established that Gimblett’s work will feature alongside a number of seminal US artists of the modern Post War era, many of whom have shaped the course of Western art history.
Initiated by luminary curator and internationally recognized scholar, Alexandra Munroe, American Art and the East will represent Munroe’s first project since being appointed the Guggenheim’s first senior curator of Asian Art. Munroe’s appointment signals the Guggenheim’s commitment to Asia and the Pacific as a site for concentrated curatorial development and cultural exchange. The significance of the exhibition lies in the West’s recognition that the influence of the Orient on Western art has reached its zenith with unprecedented growth in contemporary Asian art over last few decades, particularly that of China. “Despite this enormous shift, no major international museum of modern and contemporary art has yet established a curatorial position for Asian art. The Guggenheim is the first” states Thomas Krens, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.
“Being selected to participate in this exhibition by one of the world’s most distinguished curators and at one of the world’s most authoritative museums is certainly a major accomplishment for any artist and is a defining moment in Max’s career. It most definitely confirms his place amongst the world’s art elite” states Gow Langsford Gallery Director, Gary Langsford.
Max Gimblett is among New Zealand’s leading senior contemporary artists. A practising Buddhist, Gimblett has been based in New York since 1972. He regularly travels between New Zealand and the US, exhibiting consistently in both countries and internationally. A major survey show, The Brush of All Things’, curated by Wystan Curnow was held at the Auckland Art Gallery in 2005 to widespread critical acclaim. In 2005 he was appointed the inaugural visiting Professor at the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industry (NICAI) at the University of Auckland. In this role Gimblett interacts with students and colleagues in the varied disciplines of the fine art, music, architecture and planning, dance and Maori and Pacific performing arts – promoting an in-depth exchange of ideas centring on creativity.
2007 has been yet another fulfilling year for Gimblett. Along with the Guggenheim project, Gimblett has been commissioned by Granary Books to collaborate with esteemed American poet and critic, John Yau to produce to a version of the Tao Te Ching. This classic 6th century Taoist text is regarded as the foundation of Chinese religion and is still considered a source of inspiration worldwide today.
As an old boy of Kings School in Remuera, Gimblett was also recently honoured by the school with the dedication of an art studio in their new teaching facility named after him. The ‘Max Gimblett Room’, is located within the complex known as the ‘Light House’. The facility features the latest information and technology resources required to encourage and develop the student’s skills and education. A spokesperson for the school, Carolyn Prebble states, “Max’s visits back to his old school, whenever he is in New Zealand is extremely special. We are enriched by his presence, enormous talent, enthusiasm and experience on life…Max is a living legend and we eagerly look forward to welcoming him back to King’s school where the early part of his amazing journey began.”
In November Gimblett will participate in two major US exhibitions, Simulasian as part of the inaugural Asian Contemporary Art Fair in New York and Brush Meets Brush, a significant painting show to be held at the Zen Centre in San Francisco.
Max Gimblett is currently in New Zealand preparing for a solo show at Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland premiering Tuesday October 16. The exhibition provides a unique opportunity for New Zealand audiences to encounter the latest works by this inspirational artist before his debut at the Guggenheim New York in 2009.