There is a lot written about Max Gimblett’s paintings yet there is an element of his practice that resists definition. In a sense his works are easy to define: they are mostly abstract, mostly expressionist or sometimes a bit hard-edged; there could be a reference to the divine or Eastern philosophies; they may be bright and wild or perhaps calculated and reticent. Yet beyond this lies something else, something captivating and knowing, ephemeral – something like emotion. Standing before a painting in Sea of Dragons there is an undertow of energy. It is as if these works emit fleeting pulses that are briefly tangible.
His works are the result of his ‘acts’ of painting. When watching Gimblett work the idea of a transferal of energy, from artist to canvas, is abundantly clear. He stands before his blank surface, armed with his tools, and hovers. Stilling himself, quietly steadying and repositioning his body, he summons his own energy. Then a surge. He confronts the canvas, paint flies in vivid gestures, and everything is transformed. In this Gimblett, with tremendous bravery, lays himself bare.
The bravery of facing up to a blank canvas and transforming it is no small thing, It’s one thing to read about this kind of aesthetic impulse, but quite another to try it out for oneself. To paint in this fashion requires absolute conviction – at least, if the brushstroke is to convey a sense of clarity that will translate to real emotion on the canvas. It requires a lack of fear. Jenni Quilter, Workspace (Charta, 2010) p.119
This series of recent works was chosen by Gallery Director Gary Langsford on a recent visit to his New York Studio.
Gow Langsford Gallery invites you join us at Auckland Arts Festival's White Night on Saturday 14 March. The gallery will be open from 6pm – midnight and we will be selling Max Gimblett publications at a special discounted price. Max Gimblett will be personalizing purchased copies from 7-9pm. At our Lorne St Gallery we will be giving away Judy Millar posters.