catalog texts


by Daniel Giralt-Miracle,
Barcelona, October 1993

Carles Gabarró continues his course through "la forêt inconnue" which he entered in 1990. Pictorially speaking, he continues in the same labyrinthine woodland, though the subjects, the creative style and the colour have undergone major changes. His is a continuity which leaves behind monotony and eludes reiteration.

The erratic course of the ship sailing on the sea (Creuset, 1989) now bocomes a metaphysical search for symbols, myths, anything which is related to the survival of the human being. Gabarró cannot -nor does he want to- give up the intimist, introspective side to his painting. Form and background are profoundly existential, having passed through the filter of viewing, reflection and feeling, without falling prey to description, but strengthening sensations.

Although early references to shipwreck, helmets, skulls and cases have not disappeared, at present the dominant idea is that of a woody territory, crossed by trees, rocks, rivers, which make up a pictorial landscape: the metaphor-wood as a dense, compact territory, saturated wich testimonies and experiences.

A recent trip to Munich brought him into contact with an old town cementery which has become cause for plastic reflection. The surface of the earth covered with grass, the paths blocked by leafy trees, the grave stones wilh archaic signs and symbols, make it fit territory in which to develop his painting.

In his current work, we discover a certain Wagnerian dramatization which subtly interrelates mythology, alchemy, territory and thought, without relinquishing the remote idea of death. Gabarró continues to feel the need to use painting, which, on the other hand, achieves greater autonomy, as an independent language, able to convey sensations which go beyond the reasoning force of signs.

On a texture of untreated canvas, he seeks, a deliberate voluptuousness of material, which accentuates the contrast between the cultivated and the wild, between the part of nature in its original state and the part which has been subject to man's intervention. He underlines the pictorial charge of these works with his treatment of colour, with his browns, greens and blues, with counterpoint provided by the mean grey of lead sheet.

Gabarró reconstructs forms to the point of tuming them into symbols of an idea or a thought. With the freedom of Pollock, the density of Tàpies and the drama of Kiefer, time and time again he produces archetypes which turn into formal constants of this new series, created between 1992 and 1993.

The works he presents here must be valued beyond the apparent intelligible argument (trunk, window, chrysalid, neuron, river, mountain, wave or cloud) to deal basically with the pictorial components. The viewer must find herself within the forms, rather than recognise or identify them, as the painter becomes a formalizer of man's unreachable intuitions. It is here, in this territory of the intangible, that Gabarró struggles with material, mixing it, shaping it, densifying it, endowing it with emotional strength, breaking with all the latent schemes of pictorial tradition in his painting to lead us into the forest of his thought or the garden of our melancholy.