Gaston Goor (1902-1977) was a highly accomplished and controversial painter of boys. His principal patron for more than 30 years was Roger Peyrefitte. Goor illustrated many of Peyrefitte books and also made a number of works on various themes, many of which decorated the walls of Peyrefitte's Paris apartment. Goor's illustrations have also appeared in Montherlant's Diarium Juvenale.
Gaston Marie Charles Leo Gibson was born in Lunéville on October 26,1902. He was the son of Auguste Léon Goor and Marie Angèle Berthe Becker. At the age of seventeen, he entered the École des Beaux-Arts of Nancy where he continued his studies with poor attendance. In 1925, he left his native Lorraine and traveled to Paris to work in the studio of Amédée Ozenfant, founder with Le Corbusier of the movement called "purism" and the magazine L’Esprit Nouveau. He was introduced to modern art and met Picasso, Matisse, Lurçat, Max Jacob.
According to his own statements, it was a walk through Versailles that brings him back to the classical and away from the more theoretical advances in the field of art. It was through the André Salmon, he met André Gide who guides him towards the profession of Illustrator. Goor becomes almost the official illustrator of the Editions of Capitole, who publish André Gide, Léon Daudet (the journey of Shakespeare), Charles Maurras (three from tales of the Paradise Road), François Mauriac (God and Mammon, three great men before God), Pierre Mac Orlan. Léon Daudet (Le voyage de Shakespeare), Charles Maurras (Trois contes tirés du Chemin de Paradis), François Mauriac (Dieu et Mammon, Trois grands hommes devant Dieu), Pierre Mac Orlan. He was also the occasional illustrator of the Horizons de France editions, editions À l’Enseigne du Pot Cassé (he illustrated La religieuse de Diderot et L’ingénu de Voltaire) and Trianon (Restif de La Bretonne) editions.
He worked for the colonial exposition of 1929, and then created different work of Interior decoration for individuals. The paintings he paints, on the other hand, do not meet the desired success. He then embarks on a long study trip to Morocco and returned rather briefly to work for the Department of fine arts in 1933, and then moved to Hyères, where his family settled.
It is through an array of 1.50 m., depictions of a young naked man, Jean Joerimann (featured below),that he connects with a fan, the writer and gallery owner Lyon Renaud Icard (1886-1971). Icard allows him to exhibit his works in Lyon, in his gallery,” L’Art Français” and a friendship developed between the two men. Gaston Goor graciously created the illustrations for Renaud Icard's book, “Mon page”, which will be published posthumously in 2009 by the Quintes-Feuilles editions. During this period of his life, Gibson is often called to do interior decoration on the behalf of wealthy clients and art lovers. Among these is the owner of Châteaubriant hotel, a large luxury hotel in the town of Hyères, who is the father of Jean Joerimann, the model for the illustrations of Mon page and for which Gibson is in love. The absence of reciprocity of this love causes him great anguish which his correspondences with Renaud Icard would latter recall.
Called up on by the famous architect Maurice Novarina (1907-2002) to decorate the Church of Douvaine in Haute-Savoie, Gibson moved to this area in 1942. His paintings were not limited to murals: he also liked to paint in the style of classical artists who were easily identifiable.
According to Peyrefitte, who collected his written testimony, it would be because Gaston Goor is accused by German police of having helped Jewish people to cross the Swiss border that he was forced to accept "voluntary worker" status in Germany. Gibson finds himself in the camp near Zittau, in Saxony. Nevertheless, he is spotted for his talents, and he is hired as artist. This ended in February 1945 with the destruction of the city of Dresden by Allied bombing.
After the war, Gibson first returned to Paris, where he tried to work for the manufactures de Sèvres; then he moved to Cannes on the occasion of an exhibition. He contracted a marriage with a Polish immigrant, Marie Angèle Zajackowski, in May 1947. Goor is then invited back to England by an architect of gardens to create large sculptures. He was developing during this piriod a method of molding without metal frame. It was during his stay in England he is asked by editions Flammarion and Roger Peyrefitte to make illustrations for Amitiés particulières which appear in 1953. This work marks a turning point in the life of Goor, who then returned to the France and settled in Paris. Roger Peyrefitte becomes his real patron, and the catalyst for him creating a number of erotic works (like an illustration of the " l’Éphèbe de Pergame" episode of Satyricon), and he is introduced to many wealthy friends who lavish Goor with many commissions.
Less is known about the rest of the life of Gaston Goor, marked by some disappointments such as the non-publication of his illustrations for the Satyricon (not to be confused with those almost pornographic, of the only episode of the Ephebe of Pergamon).
- Référence:Propos secrets/L’Innominato, Albin Michel, 1989|refcourte, p. 201-203.
- Jean-Claude Féray, « L’histoire de Mon page, de ses illustrations et de l’amitié Goor-Icard », in Référence:Mon page/Quintes-Feuilles, 2009|refcourte, p. 157-195.
- Correspondance Gaston Goor – Renaud Icard (1932-1960) [coll. particulière].
A few works
Most of the easily accessible Gaston Goor production consists of works of illustrations for l’édition. His paintings are almost all in private collections.
- 10 lithographs for the loves of Ovid, translation of Henri Bornecque, Paris, Flammarion (classics of love), 1953, 238 pp., 20 × 14 cm (edition limited to 4 000 ex.)
- 24 lithographs for particular friendships by Roger Peyrefitte, Paris, Flammarion, 1953, 2 vol.,  - 180 p.-12 pl.,  - 180 p.-12 pl., 29 × 20 cm (edition limited to 740 ex.)
- 32 illustrations in the book my Renaud Icard Mon Page - Editions fifths-leaves, 2009-(ISBN 978-2953288513)