torso

Bruno Pacheco

torso, 2021

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. His practice rethinks traditional modes of display, perception, and subject construction. torso, 2021, is a loose appropriation of the Kouros statue, a standing nude, representative of youth, used in Archaic Greece as both a dedication to the gods in sanctuaries and as a grave monument. Pacheco’s painting is in this sense a reference to art history, and examines how the painterly gesture, the color pallet, composition, fragmentation and the depiction of this motive at large, influences the construction of narrative and the way images are appropriated, depicted, and perceived through time.

A torso, a bodily fragment distinctive for the absence of individuality, has been abstracted from its initial context. Its arms have been cut off, its head and face concealed. It might be a mythological figure, a marble statue, as well as a plastic mannequin – an inanimate object, a support structure. The feeling of movement, enhanced by the dynamic, painterly gesture yet smooth surface, echoes the conceptual and physical movement, inside and outside the canvas. The meaning, the reading, and the interpretation of the painting are in constant flux, pointing thus to the painting’s impermanence, a consequence of a wide web of interchanging dependencies with its external world.

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.