Oil on canvas
1690 x 1840mm
Maddox was born in Liverpool and emigrated to New Zealand in 1963 where he attended the Ilam School of Fine Arts in Christchurch. He has been working with the cross motif for the last twenty years, initially as a kind of negation of previous unsuccessful paintings, this act ironically forming a base for the rest of his career. After dispensing with the need to plan compositions by consistent use of a ‘crosses in boxes’ format, the artist was able to get straight into a work without encountering formal difficulties.
His more recent works are looser in structure than they have been in the past and he sees them as never finished, rather they are removed at random for exhibition instead of being worked on for an indefinite period. Maddox describes himself as an Abstract Expressionist, and views his move into this type of painting as a: “great liberating force”. In the tradition of the American gestural Abstract Expressionists such as Jackson Pollock and William de Kooning, Maddox has adopted a highly energetic method of paint application in which the artist’s personality and emotions play a vital role.
The results of this technique are free and spontaneous works which function as a record of the particular moment when the ‘act’ of painting was performed, hence the style’s other name: ‘action painting’.