Paul de Gobert

Paul Gobert: The cross-breed visions of a travelling landscape painter Paul Gobert is a travelling landscape painter. He walks, looks, pauses, pulls from his pocket his notebook of sketches and paints, in pencil or in pastel. That is, he takes time to realize visual fields that randomly in his curious wanderings, occasionally adventurous, he decides to memorize in a few lines or flattening of coloured pigments. Like the traveller around his room, he can linger in the tightly focused field of his garden, clinging to design on paper some newly fallen apples or picked just in time, still vivid in their sudden maturity, or soon rotting in some corner of his workshop. But when the opportunity arises, he becomes a solitary walker, paying attention to the chromatic variations, differences in light vibrations, soft or steep paths of the countries through which he patiently travels waiting for the next stop to draw. Indeed, the first quality of a "naturalist" is to know to stop, not on the instant of discovery for the purpose of its immediate photographic canning, but precisely there, in that place where the combination of light, of colour, of an almost meteorological contrast that the suddenly precise shapes of the landscape make appear, makes him sit down to fix, hand raised, the duration, each time different, of the pleasure of immediate perception, fed by the attention required by the look encompassing both the close and the distant. His current paintings, as well as his travel diaries, show us his attention to differences in climate, of the dry and wet, the barren and swampy, rocky and foamy, dazzling blue and metallic gray, which his travels in the Brabant country of his adolescence, the Mediterranean of his youth, then the Atlantic as well as the Middle East and Asia of his current creative maturity, have successively exalted, now bringing together the different exploratory impressions of his visual experience. But they also show us that the naturalist painter has become a fully ecologist painter, refusing the maze of imagery of the "globalizing" fashion of a supposedly unifying globalization of the look to offer, on the contrary, a potential mix of cultures and perception diversities that differences in hydrographic conditions impose on living conditions, or on survival conditions, of people that make up the human geography of our new millennium. The politics desires to impose its will of domination and possession of this wealth, the future price of which the most cynical alone know: water. The painter, through his confrontations with testimonies of cross-breed images, offers us another lesson, much more generous, that of sharing. Michel Baudson Art critic, writer, member of the International Association of Art Critics.