Ana Maria Pacheco

St. Sebastian Series
Works on Paper : February 6, 2008 — May 18, 2008

Reception Saturday, February 9, 2008, 6-8 p.m.
Special artist talk Sunday, April 6, 2008, 3 p.m., Framingham Civic League. Tickets at 508.620.0050 x16.

The Danforth Museum of Art is pleased to announce a special appearance by internationally renowned exhibiting artist Ana Maria Pacheco. The artist will speak about her work on Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 3 p.m. at the Framingham Civic League. Please call 508.620.0050 x16 to purchase tickets.

As preparation for her installation of nineteen life size monumental figures now on view at the Danforth Museum of Art, Pacheco produced many two-dimensional works on the theme of St. Sebastian.  Ana Maria Pacheco: Works on Paper includes Studies for St. Sebastian I and II, as well as a series of 10 etchings entitled Domestic Scenes.

While the two large scale drawings Studies for St. Sebastian I & II do not resemble the sculptures they reference, they do represent the artist’s intellectual process as she labored to create the central dramatic figure in her sculptural tableaux. Inspired by images of St. Sebastian, Pacheco worked on these drawings in the mid-1990’s to explore the many possibilities of presenting the martyrdom of this saint in sculpture. Twisting the figures of Sebastian and Irene, his savior, and pushing them to the forefront of the picture plane, Pacheco monumentalizes the act of saving this saintly figure by focusing on the figures’ facial expressions of pain and concern as arrows are plucked from Sebastian’s side. The artist skillfully evokes a deep emotional response from each viewer in her works on paper as well as her highly ambitious sculptural work also on display.

In her Studies for St. Sebastian, Pacheco alludes to a wide spectrum of visual imagery ranging from icons of Renaissance art, contemporary photography and journalistic snapshots from the newspaper. St. Sebastian, a Roman archer shot full of arrows as a punishment for his conversion to Christianity, has been painted by many important artists such as Sandro Botticelli, Andrea Mantegna, Perugino, El Greco to Salvador Dali. Pacheco also references Robert Maplethorpe’s homo-erotic depictions of bound, naked figures as well as a prize-winning Brazilian newspaper photograph of an executed bandit, who was bound to a tree stump and shot in the side, a modern-day crucifixion.

Domestic Scenes, a series of ten etchings, demonstrates Pacheco’s mastery in the print medium as well as sculpture and draughtsmanship. Each of these haunting scenes tell a story of secrets revealed, sexual confrontation, the fragility of innocence, and varying human reactions to moments of horror. The viewer, in turn, witnesses Pacheco’s unique talents for constructing mysterious and haunting scenes and depicting in her figures a stunning variety of emotions to her fabricated events.

Exhibition Press

“Ana Maria Pacheco: An even darker night”
By Chris Bergeron, The MetroWest Daily News, February 24, 2008
     “Care to see the blueprints for hell on Earth?
      A series of powerful large-scale drawings by Brazilian emigre artist Ana Maria Pacheco reveals the preparation that went into her nightmarish installation, “Dark Night of the Soul,” now displayed at the Danforth Museum of Art. . . . ” [Read more]

Ana Maria Pacheco, Study for St. Sebastian II, 1998
Study for St. Sebastian II, 1998
Edition: 35
Plate: 31½” x 23½”

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