Internationally renowned Kiwi artist Max Gimblett will be awarded an honorary doctorate for his achievements in the artistic world.

Gimblett is now based in New York and his works have been shown in more than 100 solo exhibitions around the world.

Waikato University Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley said Gimblett had forged a record of artistic achievement "unmatched by any other New Zealand artist" in terms of his international practice and exposure, also developing a consistent and passionate following in New Zealand.

Gimblett's work had 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, he said.


"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."

Quigley said it was only appropriate that the generous benefactor be awarded the university's highest honour.

"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."

Gimblett's works are 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.

Gimblett will have his honorary doctorate conferred on Wednesday, October 25, at Waikato University.