Blue over Red (Ladder, Removal)

Bruno Pacheco

Blue over Red (Ladder, Removal), 2017

The work of Bruno Pacheco is characterized by a specific ambiguity towards the field of representation. Despite its mostly figurative nature, his paintings, drawings, and objects disclose an anonymity characteristic to its subjects, may these be random objects or human figures, as is the case of Blue over Red (Ladder, Removal).

Immersed in an unknown activity, the painting is a play of subtle anxiety and melancholy. Denying the spectator access to the narrative of the painting, may this be through the position or the involvement of its characters in an unspoken occupation – also known as the state of absorption -, Pacheco enhances our desire for involvement. By his physical relation to the work and anxious gaze, the spectator becomes a protagonist of Pacheco’s painting, actively participating in blurring the boundaries between the interior and exterior of the work.

Inspired by an existing image from the artist’s vast archive of images, the work builds on unique tension between a contemporary subject and the modes of its depiction, reminiscent of 18th-century group portraiture. By combining these seemingly remote worlds, Pacheco rethinks traditional modes of display, perception, and subject construction while at the same time pointing to the impermanence of painting and image production, where nothing is fixed and where meaning is transformed through time.

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.