Beatriz Ezban’s Interior Landscape

In a chapter of Moby Dick, Herman Melville establishes a simile between the sea and the meadow: from the highest point of the mast forest, and when seeing only sky and water, the sailor feels transported to those plains where nothing interrupts the green symphony, while the man from land who enters the marine kingdom inevitably evokes his domestic domain when his spirit melts with the greatest extension on the planet.

Such deliberate ambiguity, distinctive sign of one of the founding works of our modernity, is showed in Beatriz Ezban’s paintings. Nothing is what it seems, but everything may be read in this language where color creates the most daring and demanding realities. Her adventure has not been other than that of art, since painting’s autonomy was decreed in front of a realism inheriting the manufacturing fever of the industrial revolution.

An invisible platform throbs under each one of her paintings. Her passion changes to atmospheres where chances are so controlled that we admire her paintings exactly as a striped notebook hypnotizes us, where notes are written to set their own choreography. Along her work, Beatriz Ezban has talked with masters who, just as she has, have showed that landscape, taken to canvas, should be a pictorial fact. Sister, at some time, of Joaquín Clausell –- to refer her to our Mexican domicile--, she has reached, as the most recent Monet, that illumination that allowed her to understand that the soul of painting resides in color and it demands, sooner or later, its autonomous existence. From the loose paint-stroke of Delacroix to the tortures to which Van Gogh submitted yellow colors; from Kandinsky’s concentrated movement to the monochromatic explorations of our times, Beatriz Ezban has established her own syntaxes, her own personal equivalence system.

The inheritance from her elders, who knew about the mystic and aesthetic experience of melting sand and sky in the desert, was decisive in her encounter with Icelandic nature – equally inopportune and subjugating. As a consequence, the marked contrast of her canvas at times, we seem to go through a desert which shows the multiple shades of its kingdom. There is a sea, in others, that rebels against its horizontal condition to express its wave condition that was formerly a stormy sky and tomorrow will wish to be a loosened rain. Her flowers are flames, open hearts, fruits. Fragmentary reading of the universe: the reality dislocates but comes back to its riverbed, thanks to a following glance and its crystallization in the painting.

Jorge Cuesta, one of our critics and more demanding creators -for every creative work is also a work of criticism-, sometimes wished the landscape to stop being a state of the soul to become a coordinate system. Of course he was referring to that dangerous and marvelous moment when the painting becomes its own subject and when the artist fights against purity and sterility. Beatriz Ezban has learned how to walk a step ahead, without falling to the abyss. On the other hand, she gives us wings and gills, to be a fish in the air and a bird in the water. Finally, she gives us weapons for the landscape to breathe through the eyes and for the soul to expand in the contemplation of its micro-cosmos where, as William Blake said in his poem, eternity lies in the palm of the hand.

Vicente Quirarte
November 1998
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