Dominique Gauthier or visual shock. This could be the hypothetical title of an essay on his work. Meandering and orderly, Gauthier’s work is impregnable, elusive. As soon as one assumes one can circumscribe it, it escapes from you, it slips away like oil that you try to hold in the closed palm of your hand. If you think you have made out a natural form, if a silhouette calls to mind a known object, if a spot of colour or the profile of a mass call to mind known spots and masses, that is not the way it is : they are chimeras, Morgan le Fay, mirages, which only Rorschach images can suggest, like the mystery that is within us. His work on first view, can repel, drive away, it is too big to be grasped or caged; it eludes fixed schemes and rules, and yet it is extraordinarily contemporary. Gauthier is already a third-millennium artist, polyglot and many-sided, who manages to bring together Europe and America, reason and sentiment, freedom and chains. Gauthier does not paint, he vomits paintings, he expels them from his studio like meteors in space; he catapults works into a third dimension, and beyond the representation of reality. It is an unknown space that he invites us to navigate, without weight, without age, without ties. It is a philosophical dimension which is still unknown. It is beyond our conscious knowledge; it is so deeply-rooted in our DNA that it frightens us, dismays us, terrifies us. It is a great mystery that attracts and repels. It is us ourselves.