Arte al día, 'Otra mirada', December 2001

Another view

Isabel de Laborde

At Maman

By Laura Feinsilber

Isabel de Laborde was born in Mexico, studied in Paris, and since 1980 lives and works in Buenos Aires. She has studied painting with Carlos Gorriearena, and Luis Felipe Noé. She has also been to the Engraving workshop directed by Matilde Marín and Lucrecia Orloff.

In texts about Taoist Esthetics we find that water does many things. It overflows from vast rivers and lakes to offer its benefits. Such is its virtue. It finds humble and low places. Such is its sense of courtesy.

Its tides grow and recede incessantly. Such is its Tao. It swirls and finds its level. Such is its law. Its essence is clear and pure. Such is its kindness. It returns and reaches the sea. Such is its goal.

This is what the series “Sonorous Rivers” suggests. Black China ink, and transfer on paper, with the difference that Isabel de Laborde controls through her craft  the bends, eddies, overflows, its encounter with the mountains or its blending with other waters.

Her acrylics on canvas are under such names as “Watchmen of Souls”, “Dreaming Stones”, “Suddenly I felt the river in me”, “Rivers of Blue Mornings”, all tittles taken from poems by Jorge Luis Borges, Ramón Castilla, and Juan L. Ortiz. They are intervened with lines: rhythms,  graphs, calligraphies suggesting mountains, blue brush strokes in direct reference to the protagonist river, as well as a subtle geometry integrating rationally to the impetuous forms, ebbing and flowing.

And we choose to say rationally because, though the viewer feels the vital energy emerging from her works, there are no excesses to be found.  When she addresses the Stucco and the gilding on wood, in works also poetically named: “Your blood flows in a sonorous river”,  “Listen to my blood “ , she conveys a personal, lush, and baroque vision of the blood flow, the paramount vital element.

In a tryptic - serigraphy and gilding on wood - the artist tries out geometries upon another Borgian poem, intimately linked to her passionate way of being in this world.

Isabel de Laborde’s art is a harmonic universe resounding within the viewer’s world and allowing him to withdraw from everyday vulgarity.

“Rivers and Times” is being exhibited at Daniel Maman Gallery.   

Translated by E. Adamson