I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
Of all things that serve as inspiration for Gimblett’s painting practice is his search for the spiritual. I rarely understand what someone means when they say that they are a “spiritual person” but it is always been clear to me what Max means when he says this.
It is not Max’s ongoing spiritual and philosophical dialogue that offers the truth of his spirituality. Nor is it his inquiry into the nature of existence that his paintings and works on paper seem at first to be possible answers for. It is his total commitment to his art practice that proves everything he believes in is right and true in a single moment of freedom that he is allowed to experience per painting.
Take all the art, movies, and texts he has digested; take all of his travels throughout Europe, India, China, Japan, and the United States; take CG Jung, Joseph Campbell, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Tessu the No Sword Warrior, Willem De Kooning, Hakuin, Clint Eastwood, Jack Dempsey, Sengai Gibbon, and countless other teachers he has been mentored by; Gimblett loads up a Chinese brush with all of this content and approaches a canvas.
As soon as that brush hits the picture plane all of the content is in abeyance. There is nothing but Gimblett’s relationship with the infinite.
One brief moment of truth.
When the gesture is complete and the brush leaves the painting, two assistants grab its sides and rest it flat on the floor, all of the knowledge and experience comes rushing back.
Gimblett successfully suspended his consciousness by way of a brushstroke so he could approach the unknown. I do not know of anyone else who can do this. It is a perfect melting of body, mind, and spirit which I find completely convincing.
Matt Jones, Artist, Brooklyn, New York City
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