450 Harrison Ave, No. 57  Boston   MA   02118    617-859-7222
George Gabin- Artist Statement



I met George Gabin in 1990 just before opening Chase Gallery. I can not remember how I found out about his work, but I was instantly drawn to his imagery and the mood he captures in all of his paintings. Upon visiting his studio, I learned that he was born to a garment cutter in New York and was destined to follow in his father’s foot steps. As a teenager, Gabin realized that he wanted to paint so he struck out into the art world determined to follow the inner voice that directed him toward painting. For 10 years he worked as a garment cutter while studying with Reginald Marsh and Ivan Olinsky and others at the Art Students League in New York. He set up a studio and painted nights until he became proficient in his craft. With help from his parents, he moved to Rockport, MA in 1961 to establish himself as a full time painter.

As he became involved in the North Shore art community, Gabin was presented with the possibility of starting an art school where he subsequently became one of the founding fathers of Montserrat College of Art. In addition to helping start the school, he continued on to teach for more than 35 years. His students have visited the gallery on numerous occasions, all espousing immense respect and gratitude for their teacher and mentor George Gabin.

Gabin was taught the traditional methods of painting. He starts with a gessoed linen canvas, does a detailed sketch, then paints the entire scene in shades of gray. From there, George applies the color, bit by bit, using very small brushes, always paying attention to the very subtle changes in light. His reference comes from a small sketch book where he carefully renders his ideas and observations.

His images depict imaginative places that evoke a sense of slow, unending time. Whether landscape, still life or figurative, his paintings emerge from a single source; a place within the musings and memory of the artist. Gabin invents his subjects, culling them from observation and emotion. Figures are placed in naturally lit interiors or subtly rendered landscapes that appear both mammoth and intimate. Sequestered in a room, figures become the center of interest and storytelling as Gabin uses objects and linear qualities to weave a narrative. People, when placed in a landscape, are dwarfed by large natural or architectural elements. The viewer is left with the impression that the subjects have come upon an outdoor altar and are enveloped by its spectacle.

In most of Gabin’s paintings there is a sense that the artist is searching for something, searching for answers to questions that we all ask. Sometimes he is fascinated with the ethereal, other times, human interactions. In all of the paintings there is a quiet acceptance of our place in the world, a recognition that life is bigger than any one of us and time is an essential element in our existence.

Jeff Chase - 2008