Artist Max Gimblett Awarded Honorary Doctorate
An award for a fine artist
One of New Zealand’s most successful artists, Max Gimblett, will be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Waikato next week.
New York-based Mr Gimblett, 82, has forged a record of artistic achievement unmatched by any other New Zealand artist in terms of his international practice and exposure, while at the same time developing a consistent and passionate following in New Zealand.
Mr Gimblett’s work has contributed in a distinctive way to the dialogue between East and West, fusing elements from Eastern spirituality, calligraphy, and sumi ink painting with Western concepts of abstract expressionism, modernism and pop art.
His approach to art is deeply spiritual, drawing from Buddhism, Christianity and classical mythology. He is best known for his use of the quatrefoil, the female form of the cross and a shape with deep significance in Eastern and Western religious symbolism.
As an artist and scholar, Mr Gimblett has been prolific. His works have been shown in more than 100 solo exhibitions and are held in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, as well as most notable public and private collections in Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Gimblett is a generous benefactor, having donated substantial bodies of work to the Christchurch Art Gallery, St David’s Memorial Church in Grafton, the University of Waikato and a number of other public galleries and educational institutions.
University Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley says Mr Gimblett is most deserving of an honorary doctorate. “Given his international standing as an artist and scholar, his generosity as a benefactor of the University of Waikato and many other institutions, and his ongoing engagement with the wider art community in New Zealand, it’s appropriate the university acknowledges Max’s achievements and contributions with its highest honour.”
Mr Gimblett will have his honorary doctorate conferred on Wednesday 25 October at the university.