July 23, 2004

Prof. Antonio Mazzaro Author, writer, philosopher and Art Professor, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

What really stands out in Antoine Gaber’s last works is his desire to continue the impressionist tradition of “plein air”, giving it a new energy. Baudelaire wrote the following about impresionist artists: ” Their work is just like that, rapid and faithful to all that there is changeable and unattainable in form and in colour, from the waves and the clouds that always have the date and the time written on the margin, and the wind (…)
Also, the light in his paintings reminds us in many forms of his Egyptian origins, which we can say set his impressionist destiny and his relationship with music. It would be sufficient to point out Debussy’s description of music: ” I prefer the few notes of an Egyptian sheppard’s flute, someone who cooperates with the landscape and hears the harmony that treatises ignore. Coincidences? Is it a coincidence the fact that Gaber’s artistic soul was developed as a photographer and the impressionists’ first exhibit occurred in Nadar’s photographic studio? I do not think so.
The music in Gaber’s paintings is undeniable and it is the tool that allows the painter to recreate impressionism and not just copy it. This is very clear in his painting Water lilies, where colours appear to vanish towards grey tones, offering time and nature, in their constant movement, the suspension of one of nature’s unrepeatable moments. This breaks the form of frustration of one of the fathers of Impressionism, Monet:
“I feel obligated to recreate continuing transformations because everything grows and sprouts. Therefore, because of these transformations, I follow nature without being able to seize it… like a river that flows green one day, then yellow, today in the evening it runs dry and tomorrow it will become a torrent.
Antoine Gaber solves this conflict the same way Van Gogh did. In one of the artist’s letters to his brother Theo, Van Gogh wrote:” I do not want to paint just trying to show exactly what I see, as impressionists do. What I want to do is to express myself with more force utilizing arbitrary colours”. Antoine Gaber’s less strong and more evocative stroke creates a much more reflexive contrast of colours than Van Gogh’s shocking and engaging forms. If  Van Gogh reflects in any way Rimbaud’s poetry in his works, Gaber recreates Mallarmé’s style, that is, silence. It is the silence of someone who observes a reality that does not stand out. Like the impressionists, Gaber has also a strong will to completely soak himself in reality in order to recreate all its positive and pleasurable sides. In the same way, landscape and rural representations have the sign of beauty, of civilization; and they are landscapes seen with the eye of the city dweller. This reference brings us back to Gaber’s activities as a cancer researcher. His private and artistic life have a strong bond; one does not serve the purpose of evading the other: they complement each other. It is thanks to the balance of someone who has known cancer and has been an spectator of its impact in everyday life that he can recreate in his impressionism the sensibility typical of impressionist art.

Antonio Mazzaro, Author, writer, philosopher and Art Professor,
Isla Mujeres, Mexico

23 July, 2004.

Prof. Antonio Mazzaro

Author, writer, philosopher and Art Professor, Isla Mujeres, Mexico