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Dispersing the Night : powerful new exhibition by Ana Maria Pacheco

Posted By : Marie Thomas Friday 17th February 2017

A solo exhibition by Brazilian-born artist Ana Maria Pacheco this April will show new work alongside major pieces that have rightly brought her international acclaim.The exhibition, entitled Dispersing the Night, looks fearlessly into the dark heart of humanity and seeks out the light.


Curated by Jacquiline Creswell, Salisbury Cathedral Arts Advisor, in association with Pratt Contemporary, this is the work of an artist who does not baulk at exposing unpalatable realities and looks unflinchingly upon the perilous world we frail, brave humans encounter. The exhibition is an exploration of extremes. Study of Head (John the Baptist III) is an expression of the abuse of power and suffering, whilst Enchanted Garden, a series of alabaster reliefs, offers the possibility of paradise.


From Be Aware, seven new polychrome wood reliefs exploring the human vices (to be exhibited for the first time at Salisbury Cathedral) to Shadows of the Wanderer, one of the artist’s major sculptural groups, the themes are both enduring and epic, and contribute to many layers of interpretation and meaning.

The leading figure in Shadows of the Wanderer has its sources in the story of Aeneas, who carries his father out of Troy, but it speaks as easily to the topical issues of exile, migration and the displacement of peoples struggling to flee persecution. The Shadows, striking painted figures with acrylic teeth and eyes made of onyx personify the darkness within, in contrast to the lighter figures of father and son (made from the same piece of wood) which celebrate hope and endeavour.


A powerful exhibition of works spanning the last two decades of Pacheco’s career, right up to the present day, Dispersing the Night opens on 28 April and runs until 23 July.