Nîmes: Jean Cabane throws ink at the house of Protestantism

Expatriated to Vietnam, the Nîmes is back in his city for an exhibition of around forty paintings.

Nîmes is his home. No doubt he will come back to it. This is where he was born, grew up, lived for a long time. There again he worked and campaigned. There also that he gave his first brushstrokes. Ventabren, the family home; the Prolé, stronghold of the militants of the Communist Party of which he is a faithful despite the distance; the Langevin, Charles-Martel, Marguerite-Long and Capouchiné schools and the studio of the painter Pascal Thouvenin, square de la Bouquerie, are familiar places and so many stages in the life of Nîmes for Jean Cabane. He is passing through France for a few months and is back in Nîmes for an exhibition of around forty inks.

When he retired in 2005, he gave another direction to his life. Goodbye Europe. Hello Vitenam. The choice of country is not trivial. He admits that it is an extension of his political commitment. “Of course I would never have gone to the United States”he laughs, adding more seriously: “The war that this country went through shaped my political consciousness.”

Ink, the most sensitive technique to convey emotions

In Danang, Jean Cabane was a French reader at university. The experiment could only have lasted a few months. But it’s by going to buy painting materials that everything changed, charmed by the smile of Hoa who is no longer there. In Hoi An, where he set up a studio next to his house, Jean Cabane continued to satisfy his passion for painting. His favorite universe: ink. “It all started in Pascal’s studio for me, he says. He oriented me a lot in the taste of the work in ink on paper that I cultivated. It is today my favorite technique, the most sensitive to my taste to transmit one’s emotions.”

With sometimes a little indigo blue

On Chinese paper, Jean Cabane’s universe, imbued with an entirely Asian meditation, is not meant to be descriptive. “I leave, he said, the visitor to imagine what he wants to imagine from my painting, to feel the emotion he wishes.” And when it is pointed out to him that black can be assimilated to the color of sadness, he insists on its emotional strength and specifies sometimes using a little indigo blue pigments, in reference and in homage no doubt to Pascal Thouvenin, “crazy crazy in love”he told us one day, of this color.

After three years of forced removal due to the pandemic, Jean Cabane appreciates this return to Nîmes where he will undoubtedly return to settle in order to be closer to his sons and grandchildren. Closer also to the friends he greets on every street corner. This is his first exhibition in his hometown. And probably not the last.

Voix d’encre, exhibition by Jean Cabane, until October 4 at the Maison du Protestantisme (3, rue Claude-Brousson), every day from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; opening, Friday, September 23 from 6 p.m.

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Nîmes: Jean Cabane throws ink at the house of Protestantism

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