Bruno Pacheco, Catch, detail
Bruno Pacheco
June 8 — June 262020

Pedro Cera is pleased to present its first Viewing Room with paintings by Bruno Pacheco (1974).

The Viewing Room introduces a new group of works, painted by the artist throughout the past months. With the cowboy hat as the central motive of these works, Pacheco examines the possibilities of indirect narrativity, through the use of variation and association with other objects, lived situations or (art)historical references. The artist’s vast archive of images – mostly photographs taken during his travels or through-out his daily life serves Pacheco as a conceptual source for many of his works. These photographs are a point of departure for the construction of an associative mind map, which, together with the depiction of the object, determines the contextual reading of each painting.

Artist's archive of references
Artist's archive of references

Despite the initial fascination with the symbolism and the formal nature of the cowboy hat, which has in fact, been present in the artist’s work for some time, it is through the engagement with the object on a painterly surface, where the treatment, placement, and variation of the image is determined.

Bruno Pacheco, Catch, 2020, oil on canvas, 170 × 220 cm
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A stack of hats, placed with geometric preciseness, one on top of the other, echoes the infinite space, which exists beyond the surface of the canvas, bringing into play associations with Brancusi’s Infinity Column – a modern embodiment of the concept of infinity. Like a photograph, the painting becomes a fragment of a much larger reality that is subject to change. Moreover, by the applied geometric structure and its formal characteristics, Pacheco echoes elements of American Minimalism, embodied, among other, by Donald Judd’s Untitled (Stack) series, tied to concepts of commercial availability and industrial production.

Bruno Pacheco, One and many, 2020, oil on canvas, 220 × 120 cm
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Image of St. Jerome, Artist's archive of references

Despite Pacheco’s broad interest in the hat as a subject and as an attribute, as depicted in classical painting, his present engagement with the cowboy hat, bridges these works rather with the post-industrial age and with aspects of commercial symbolism tied to American culture. Moreover, as a result of cultural appropriation and its wide commercial availability as an object of consumption, the hat becomes a symbol of intercultural exchange, where objects are stripped of some of their defining characteristics, gaining thus new intercultural identity.

Its composition, movement, and depiction on the canvas might call for a wide range of associations. It may be a flying hat, reminiscent of a UFO, an architectural shelter constructed by the placement of two hats one above the other, or a container when turned upside down. The distinctive treatment of these paintings in regards to their color, vivid brushstroke and the sense of monumentality of the depicted, and otherwise ordinary object of consumption, suggests a variety of movement and meaning of an else static object, while simultaneously questioning the inherent characteristics of painting and still life.

Bruno Pacheco, Match, 2020, oil on canvas, 170 × 120 cm
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Bruno Pacheco, One, 2020, oil on paper, 56 × 76 cm
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Bruno Pacheco, Down, 2020, oil on paper, 56 × 76 cm
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