Repetition and knowledge

lf the idea of the labyrinth, that physical and mental itinerary arranged according to a dark and mathematical figure, filled the plastic expression of Gilbert Herreyns‘s painting throughout the second half of the sixties and the beginning of the seventies, and brought him up to Vasarely and Ftiley’s inquiries- concerned with optical effects and the interaction of colour, light and shape, since the last decade he has been paying attention to another less logical and more gestural labyrinth in a persuasive and Dersistent way.

A labyrinth wich is no longer the path along a geographical surface, but going into a deep forest, penetrating and getting into a space without a boundary, a limit or a bottom. A deep space accessible by means of a serial order: crossing a repetitively expressive tangle which catches your retina, fills your mind and keeps the tension between what you think and what you see. It is through that expressive, logical and automatic repetition that you accede to another purely abstract, endless and transparent dimension -which is opened, given and kept- once you have crossed the reticle that, like a shutter, is inserted between our look and the sight of a limitless, changeable and permanent space.

A space, the one on the other side, where bodiless shapes, changeable presences and constant absences seem to arrange and vanish: dim reflections of what happens if we dare cross the thick but slight fog which seems to separate us from everything, which seems to intend to keep us back in its close and intelligible order and, at the same time to imply what remains beyond as a chaos of shapes and meanings.

And there is chaos and order asserting and denying each other. lt is variety concealing unity. It is understanding involving, in an apparent order, what is a pure flowing, what is a permanent change: an abstract expression of what by its only presence refuses to be named and, however, is shown and given only through that mathematical and gestural order which hides, and shows, what can only be seen through that order.

lt is the knowledge of change through permanence, everything through something, chaos through order, the void through the interstices of things. Confirmation of the aporia and praise of the paradox. The labyrinth of knowledge which takes you to the center of nowhere.

Antoni Marí
Writer and art critic
Ibiza 1989