In early 2010 Max Gimblett announced his intention to give the Gallery a substantial gift of works on paper. The only complication was that someone had to go and select them...
It's now been many months since Jenny Harper and I visited Max's studio in New York to make a selection of works on paper to be presented to the Gallery by Max and his wife Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett. One of the strongest impressions I have of the visit is of Max's incredibly generous spirit, not only in making a truly exceptional gift to the citizens of Christchurch, but in the way he welcomed Jenny and me into his studio, made us feel at home, provided excellent meals and endless coffee and not least, opened his archive of works on paper to us to make a selection from. I was blown away by his warm-hearted nature and sense of humour, which he balances extremely well with an exceptional work ethic.
New York was hot and humid and the task we completed in the studio was intense, as we worked our way through hundreds upon hundreds of drawings to make the final selection. It was an exhilarating experience for me—Max is an artist I have long admired, but he so rarely exhibits here in Christchurch that I hadn't experienced many of his works at first hand. It was awesome to view so much of his work in his presence.
Max Gimblett Self-Liberation by Knowing the Signs of Death 2010. Pencil, ink
/ Arches 555 lb Rough Watercolour Paper, France. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, the Max Gimblett and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett Gift