Gartner, or the memory of the world

Each path is unusual; each trail is laden with pitfalls and beds of roses. The story of the artist Gartner is, like all human stories, unique in the memory of the world.

Avis Alba
“Avis Alba” by Gartner

Born in Antwerp, in the Flemish region of Belgium, at a time when Jews spoke to each other in French, and almost the whole community worked with diamonds — Gartner would even learn Yiddish by schmoozing with the Hasidim. Both his parents are Auschwitz survivors — more than half of their families would never come back (his father lost there his first family, wife and children zk”l).

In this world of heavy silence where sometimes we don’t understand even the half words, Gartner turned to music at a very young age, carried away for a while by the sounds and melodies that sway you and make you fly away. He composes, works with the big names of the French song. Then, in 1991, painting suddenly enters his life, never to go away, with his first exhibition in New York. It is followed by a succession of shows and exhibitions in Belgium, France, Monaco, Canada, the US and Israel. In November 2015 the painter participated in the “Art’Drenaline” Festival held at Heichal Shlomo Museum in Jerusalem in a collective exhibition of contemporary Israeli artists, each with different graphics and geographical horizons.

"Mauna" by Gartner
“Mauna” by Gartner

Once relocated in Israel, the colors of his palette became brighter, his ocher impregnated with the glare of the desert sun, and his powerful reds soaking the blazing heat of summer nights. Each canvas is prepared by providing structure and relief through collages: “The texture, that is life; like a skin, it is never smooth, there are cracks, holes, wrinkles.” Then comes the story, which follows each of his works like a thread that never breaks: circles, lines and curves, with or without characters surfacing in a landscape of colors tinted by the Ancient times, the majestic ocher and sincere land; this is the world of Gartner, the painter. Regardless whether his creations are large or small formats, on wood, on canvas or paper, there is life in them. It is a story told by matter. Collages, painting overlays, depressions, waves place the beauty felt in his works between prints and illuminated manuscripts. Sometimes it is the randomness of a work, a frieze, a frame in the composition, which opens a new window on the stage, harmonizing texture and subject.

"Ligbar" by Gartner
“Ligbar” by Gartner

A constantly renewed repetition, overcoming constraints and the frame. The work of Gartner is the time carried by a collective memory, marked by the rhythm of man – memories recorded in a leitmotiv of the symbolism. The time that went, never to return, the voices that we hear no more. Memories to keep and to engrave forever. Each work is unique both in its composition and in its expression; in each of his canvases the painter gives us a part of our history. And in the creations of the painter-artist can be recognized the musician’s touch – the rhythm and chorus, the sweet melody that stays with us; we hear the drums that fill the air in a far-away country, the one we leave by way of the mist. The artist himself said: “I wanted to remember the time that advances inexorably and leave some of my footprints in the memory of men.”

Gartner is life spent in constant movement, with its circles and its lines, all part of the path in a picture.

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About the Author
Through Art’Drenaline, Sarah SaHaD aspires to create a link between artists, art professionals and public; thus, she uses writing and organizing artistic events and projects to bring together all the communities making up the Israeli society by means of the universal language of art.
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