Oil on canvas
2030 x 2030mm
Inscriptions: GROUND = LIQUITEX ACRYLIC GESSO. / MEDIUM = OIL PAINT. ; 'BLUE/RED – TO LEN LYE – 1980' ; MAX GIMBLETT 1980 [stretcher]
This work was first exhibited in 1980 exhibition held at the gallery Modernism: Art of the 20th Century in San Francisco. In the catalogue issued to accompany the exhibition, Ronny H. Cohen wrote: “Max Gimblett is a color visionary of a new, direct and boldly contemporary kind. Since 1965 he has made color the essence of his art and worked towards realising color’s infinite potential for emotive expression. Pure and sensuous, reticent and aggressive, specific and mysterious, his color has the capacity to move the eye, mind and emotions.”
“Gimblett’s work is rich in content … such attitude is what encourages the viewer to not merely look but see beyond a deceptively exclusive, reduced-to-geometric-basics exterior into the artist’s wondrously inclusive vision of color.”
“Gimblett’s content is color, color is content: in his paintings color is always turning, always moving, always charged with exciting perceptual, intellectual and emotional sensations.”
In this work there is what Mary Lee Thompson described as “an angry truce between equally belligerent blue and red”. The work is offered as a non-specific homage to the internationally renowned New Zealand-born sculptor Len Lye, who—like Gimblett—spent much of his life in New York. Gimblett first met Lye in 1976 when the sculptor visited his first one-person exhibition in New York.
Blue/Red – To Len Lye is illustrated in Wystan Curnow and John Yau, Max Gimblett (Tāmaki Makaurau: Craig Potton Publishing and Gow Langsford Gallery, 2002), 32. Here, the wrong date and medium are listed.
The 80s Show: Paintings from the Fletcher Trust Collection, Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga, 1 July to 27 August 2017 (toured)