Joaquín Pacheco '2007-2010'
New York, Paris, London, Tokyo and Amsterdam are some of the places where Joaquín Pacheco has lived (Madrid, 1934). If there is a distinctive trait about his nomadic artistic path, this is that since the 60s until today, his paintings have clearly shown vital signs that have remained there throughout his successive removals. The only space that he’s never left is the canvas, and the acrylic that covers its area – in which he has constantly taken over again a bipartite understanding of space: the golden, ochre, brown, bronzy plane of earth, and the blue, azure, cyan, turquoise sky. The division is as deep as the elements making up his images – men with their backs turned, gazing upon something, or men absently facing us. The lonely figures that so often appear in his paintings combine the tones of both spaces; the light outlines the clothes and delimits their features. Contemplative figures in half-naked spaces contained in cinematographic framings that depict the unimportant moments in the lives of the characters – if characters they are. Archetypical mannequins or human bodies, mostly passers-by, the lives of these medium-height heroes do not go beyond the captured image.
The shades cast on the pavement by the anonymous heroes are visible in most of the paintings with equal neatness and gestual quality as their bodies, depicted in relaxed postures. The men and women brought to the canvas by Joaquín Pacheco are noted for their lack of eloquence – they are devoid of any motion or body expression that might reflect any specific inner state. The subjects show some interest in the sight they are contemplating – the same interest of a viewer who has stopped to examine the work. The postures of the men in mackintoshes with their backs turned on us in “El Camino” [The Road], like the attitude of the woman sitting in “La Espera” [The Wait], are similar to the physical position of anyone while viewing a work of art in a gallery or museum.
El Camino [The Road], Sombras [Shades], Escalinata [Stairs], Arquitectura [Architecture], La Espera [The Waiting], are among the titles of the exhibition presented by Distrito 4, in which we find some of the pieces painted by Joaquín Pacheco since 2007 until today. Through them, the artist is already naming that which belongs to his images: calmness. The paintings selected seem to affix the “Small Stories of Waiting” to a square, a staircase, a museum, or one of the most attractive sets for the artist: the beach, a symbol of holidays and leisurely pleasure. These remind us of David Hockney’s siesta atmospheres, water and glass reflections, quietness.
The contours of the buildings appear enhanced by the tension of the conic perspective that Pacheco often uses to frame the situations that he photographs with a paintbrush. The vanishing lines contrast with the volumes of a woman or a tree, with the slow masses of paint like the shapeless clouds painted on sunny days. Glazed walls, large windows that reveal the opacity of the people also disclosed at once. They are buildings that work as defined masses of inert life, like the rest areas and transitional places of one of the painters that are among his major influences, Edward Hopper. We might define Joaquín Pacheco’s works as painting images, for they refer to snapshots of local colour scenes in urban landscapes in which people look at the very set, and sometimes seem to share the least important moments in the life of anyone.