Gow Langsford is delighted to present Hands of Gold, an exhibition of new works by Max Gimblett. Hands of Gold features a stunning array of paintings, the majority of which take the quatrefoil shape – a hallmark of Gimblett’s oeuvre. While this essential form repeats, the treatment of surface varies considerably from work to work. There are evenly surfaced monochromes, grid-like patterns, and extravagantly gestural brush strokes in a rich array of colours. What shines through in this diverse range of approaches to painting is the quality of Gimblett’s craft and his distinctive artistic vision.

Gimblett is one of New Zealand’s foremost practitioners of abstract painting, particularly of gestural abstraction. He has engaged extensively with philosophical traditions from both Eastern and Western cultures. These fields of knowledge have permeated his artistic practice, as he has created a painting language entirely of his own. In a review of Gimblett’s work in Artforum magazine, writer Ida Panicelli stated, “Since the early 1980s, the artist has favored the quatrefoil—a format that breaks with the notion of the canvas as a picture window. Suggesting a four-petaled flower, it also evokes the four cardinal points, the four dimensions, or the arms of the Eastern Orthodox cross. It is inspired by the Venus of Willendorf, primeval symbol of female fecundity, as well as by the completely male, quadrilobate design of the tsuba, the Japanese sword guard. Finally, the form alludes to Carl Jung’s four fundamental human activities—sensing, feeling, thinking, and intuiting—pointing toward the centre of being, like a mandala of wholeness.” [1]

This depth of underlying philosophical thought opens up an array of interpretive possibilities. A viewer can engage with them as meditations on the human condition, as richly emotional works of expressionism, or as satisfying works of abstraction with a unique aesthetic. However one chooses to engage with Gimblett’s work, its quality is undeniable. The paintings presented in Hands of Gold further embellish Gimblett’s storied career as an artist.

Born in New Zealand in 1935, Gimblett has been primarily based in New York City since 1972. His extraordinary artistic journey spans over six decades, with an extensive history of high-profile exhibitions and inclusion in public and private collections. He continues to exhibit regularly in both the United States and New Zealand.


[1] Ida Pinacelli, Max Gimblett: Gary Snyder Gallery. Artforum, Summer 2012 (web accessible: https://www.artforum.com/events/max-gimblett-195502/).