Bruno Pacheco

Removal, 2018‑2019

The politics of painting is the foundation of Pacheco’s practice, making painting the principal medium in which Pacheco’s works are conceived and his primary subject. Despite breaking with traditional modes of depiction and display, thus challenging the sacrality and hierarchy tied to classical painting, many of Pacheco’s works also bear a relation to motives derived from classical painting, Removal, 2018-2019 being no exception.

Nicola da Urbino, The Judgement of Paris, ca 1550, Maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware), 27 cm | 10.36 in

Removal, 2018-2019 is part of a group of paintings on paper inspired by a maiolica plate by Nicola da Urbino, which depicts a scene from The Judgement of Paris, one of the best-known Greek myths. The scene depicts Paris, a Trojan shepherd awarding a golden apple to the most beautiful goddess. Athena offers Paris victory in war. Hera offers to make Paris the ruler of the world. It is, however, Aphrodite, accompanied by Cupid, that is proposed the most beautiful woman in the world and awarded the apple. Aphrodite leads Paris to Helen of Sparta, which later precipitates the Trojan War.

Pacheco’s appropriation of the motive and its reference to Urbino’s plate (1550) looks at the construction and appropriation of subject matter throughout history. By borrowing motives from the history of painting and by re-depicting them in variation, Pacheco looks at how the painterly gesture, the color pallet, composition, or fragmentation influences the construction of narrative and how images are depicted and perceived through time. Moreover, by abstracting the motive from its initial context, enlarging and distorting it, by removing some of its elements, or juxtaposing it against another image, Pacheco points to the impermanence of painting, where interpretation and a works reading is in constant flux.

Bruno Pacheco is based between London and Lisbon. His work has been exhibited at the 31st São Paulo Biennial, Sharjah Biennial, Culturgest (Lisbon), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art (Porto), Whitechapel Gallery (London) among other. His work is part of the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian – CAM (Lisbon), Fundação de Serralves (Porto), Kadist Art Fioundation (Paris), The UBS Art Collection (London), Van Abbe Museum (Eidenhoven), Sharjan Arts Foundation collection and the MCA – Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago collection, among other.