“Subtle nuances of a hue that progresses and spreads "1 appear in the back- ground of his canvas, overlapped by a layer of colors that shape the appearance of the landscape sensed in Fares Thabet's imagination.
Semblances of forms emerge from his imagination, weathered materials lying at the threshold of his reality and his dreamscape. He sketches the outlines of his paintings in charcoal on the wall of his studio next to his blank canvas. He works his backgrounds first, studies his palette and looks for the vibration of his colors, one next to the other.
Thabet places the locations of his flat surfaces often with strong luminous intensity and gradually adorns his paintings with details that mark his large land- scapes. His spaces evoke a familiarity and invite the audience to slip into his leafy world. He invokes miniatures that arise from Derek Walcott's poems, from a light that stunned him on an early morning or from a stroll.
As an extension of his reality, his paintings are conceived by brushstrokes soaked in paint, some dense and others less greasy. His touches of color define the limits of the surfaces, which occasionally blur, marking areas of impact or surface change.
Each scene "develops and accentuates what is specifically precious in the things that give us daily pleasure"2 , he treats painting as a purely sensory connection to the world he perceives. The colors like musical notes that he feels and that he does not necessarily manage to put into words but to perceive in form or vibration. "I paint for the sake of painting" he says.
The color works as an energetic detonation by its vibration and can still define a painting or his state of mind at the time of its conception. Tha- bet bends in two to see, steps back, settles in his small terrace to paint.
A landscape indoor or outdoor, is an open door to a pre-established experience that emerges from the material to the common world. By tracing the fields, climbing the hills and stops at the seaside landscapes, the intra or extra-muros are scenes printed in his memory from his daily life or even postcards found in flea markets in downtown Tunis, "transformed into aesthetic substance”3.
The color itself becomes matter and material of processing his daily life, working as a thread of narratives that he weaves between his paintings, with puzzled temporality; sometimes brightness of a pastel pink and other times darkness of an ultramarine blue.
Thabet sought to escape the conceptual or politicized academism of the art schools he attended in Spain, in search of his own color, a slowness and a technique of his own. His return to Tunis, marked a turning point in his painting, he returned to seek an apprenticeship to follow a rhythm dictated to his artistic practice.
"On a Blade of Grass" is the eulogy of the color, imagination and lucid dreams that arise from the world of Fares Thabet.
Salma Kossemtini, November 2021 Selma Feriani Gallery, Tunis
1. L’art comme expérience, JHON DEWEY, translation coordinated by JEAN-PIERRE COMETTI, p84,2010
2. ibid , p42
3. ibid, p190