Causal Loops

Bernardo Pacquing
Silverlens, Manila

About

    Causal Loops is a collection of paintings, mixed media collages, and sculptures by Bernardo Pacquing, opening at Silverlens Gallery Manila on 11 June 2024. The solo exhibition emphasizes the artist's ongoing studies in the form and process of abstraction through his interest in the layering of time and ruins.

    Pacquing has made a name for his expansive and pared-down canvases centered on essential visual elements such as geometric forms and muted colors. His work incorporates elements of found objects to make abstract compositions. They have been referred to as "ugly" or "messy" abstractions because of their digressions on expectations with their gritty, seemingly unpolished textures inspired by the visual information absorbed from a childhood growing up in Sampaloc, Manila. It is what philosopher Bernard Bosenquet calls a "difficult beauty," referring to the kind that is not immediately apparent to the senses and requires the challenge of patience and time to perceive.

    For this show, the difficult beauties composed of various mediums represent the strands of Pacquing's art practice. They share a fascination with the traces of things and repetition. The artist talked about his dismay when long-standing structures are torn down without any second thought about reuse or renovation. In the two large canvas works that dominate the show called What I Have Learned From My Paintings and The Lottery of Birth, Pacquing takes the forms that defined his early work and runs with it by increasing the momentum of activity happening within the frame of the canvas.

    There is a mastery of technique evident in What I Have Learned From My Paintings, which sees him taking a long rope and imposing a biomorphic composition for its shape. At its center is a strip of scattered cement and wooden blocks that look like charcoal. The Lottery of Birth, a work spanning the length of five panels, is overloaded with forms and shapes as if you were looking at the aftermath of an explosion.

    Everything moves so fast in life that the collected works in the show seem slow in comparison as if relishing a sense of time contained within the space and form of the composition. The smaller works found in Brown Study and White Noise, made of flattened cardboard boxes and salvaged wooden tiles, respectively, are composed in unexpected iterations. These are objects thrown out and considered invaluable but hold the guise of ruins when encountered in everyday life. 

    It is the same with the sculptures made of cement bags, cardboard, and scrap wood. Pacquing allows the cement bags to take shape under sunlight and rain until they harden and become unchangeable. Cement is the most utilized material in the world after water, and it has industrial origins and purpose. The artist uses it here for sculpture with austerity and specificity of its pictorial language that it seems it can't be done in any other way. 

    Pacquing's first artist monograph, Everyday Materials, which charts his growth as an artist, is published by ArtAsiaPacific. The book features key works representing Pacquing’s art practice from the 1990s until today. It reflects on the narrative of the artist’s growth to maturity through in-depth essays written by David Elliott, Gary-Ross Pastrana, Josephine V. Roque, and Russell Storer. 

    Causal Loops will be shown at Silverlens Manila from 11 June to 13 July 2024.

    – Josephine V. Roque

    Bernardo Pacquing (b. 1967, Tarlac, Philippines; lives and works in Parañaque City, Philippines and Singapore) is an artist broadening the expressive possibilities of abstraction in painting and sculpture. Incorporating diverse found objects that challenge conventional perceptions of aesthetic representation, form, and value, his work displaces the idea of unequivocal forms, introducing possibilities for the coexistence of affirmations and denials.

    He was twice awarded the Grand Prize for the Art Association of the Philippines Open Art Competition (Painting, Non-Representation) in 1992 and 1999. He is also a recipient of the Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists Award in 2000, an award given to exemplary artists in the field of contemporary visual art. Pacquing received a Freeman Fellowship Grant for a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in the United States.

Causal Loops is a collection of paintings, mixed media collages, and sculptures by Bernardo Pacquing, opening at Silverlens Gallery Manila on 11 June 2024. The solo exhibition emphasizes the artist's ongoing studies in the form and process of abstraction through his interest in the layering of time and ruins.

Pacquing has made a name for his expansive and pared-down canvases centered on essential visual elements such as geometric forms and muted colors. His work incorporates elements of found objects to make abstract compositions. They have been referred to as "ugly" or "messy" abstractions because of their digressions on expectations with their gritty, seemingly unpolished textures inspired by the visual information absorbed from a childhood growing up in Sampaloc, Manila. It is what philosopher Bernard Bosenquet calls a "difficult beauty," referring to the kind that is not immediately apparent to the senses and requires the challenge of patience and time to perceive.

For this show, the difficult beauties composed of various mediums represent the strands of Pacquing's art practice. They share a fascination with the traces of things and repetition. The artist talked about his dismay when long-standing structures are torn down without any second thought about reuse or renovation. In the two large canvas works that dominate the show called What I Have Learned From My Paintings and The Lottery of Birth, Pacquing takes the forms that defined his early work and runs with it by increasing the momentum of activity happening within the frame of the canvas.

There is a mastery of technique evident in What I Have Learned From My Paintings, which sees him taking a long rope and imposing a biomorphic composition for its shape. At its center is a strip of scattered cement and wooden blocks that look like charcoal. The Lottery of Birth, a work spanning the length of five panels, is overloaded with forms and shapes as if you were looking at the aftermath of an explosion.

Everything moves so fast in life that the collected works in the show seem slow in comparison as if relishing a sense of time contained within the space and form of the composition. The smaller works found in Brown Study and White Noise, made of flattened cardboard boxes and salvaged wooden tiles, respectively, are composed in unexpected iterations. These are objects thrown out and considered invaluable but hold the guise of ruins when encountered in everyday life. 

It is the same with the sculptures made of cement bags, cardboard, and scrap wood. Pacquing allows the cement bags to take shape under sunlight and rain until they harden and become unchangeable. Cement is the most utilized material in the world after water, and it has industrial origins and purpose. The artist uses it here for sculpture with austerity and specificity of its pictorial language that it seems it can't be done in any other way. 

Pacquing's first artist monograph, Everyday Materials, which charts his growth as an artist, is published by ArtAsiaPacific. The book features key works representing Pacquing’s art practice from the 1990s until today. It reflects on the narrative of the artist’s growth to maturity through in-depth essays written by David Elliott, Gary-Ross Pastrana, Josephine V. Roque, and Russell Storer. 

Causal Loops will be shown at Silverlens Manila from 11 June to 13 July 2024.

– Josephine V. Roque

Bernardo Pacquing (b. 1967, Tarlac, Philippines; lives and works in Parañaque City, Philippines and Singapore) is an artist broadening the expressive possibilities of abstraction in painting and sculpture. Incorporating diverse found objects that challenge conventional perceptions of aesthetic representation, form, and value, his work displaces the idea of unequivocal forms, introducing possibilities for the coexistence of affirmations and denials.

He was twice awarded the Grand Prize for the Art Association of the Philippines Open Art Competition (Painting, Non-Representation) in 1992 and 1999. He is also a recipient of the Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists Award in 2000, an award given to exemplary artists in the field of contemporary visual art. Pacquing received a Freeman Fellowship Grant for a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in the United States.

Installation Views

What I Have Learned from my Paintings

Bernardo Pacquing
What I Have Learned from my Paintings #1,
2024
13558
2
assemblage on canvas
101.5h x 72w x 5d in • 257.8h x 182.9w x 12.7d cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
What I Have Learned from my Paintings #2
2024
13557
2
assemblage on canvas
101.5h x 71w x 7.5d in • 257.8h x 180.3w x 19.1d cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
What I Have Learned from my Paintings #3
2024
13559
2
assemblage on canvas
84h x 60w x 3.5d in • 213.4h x 152.4w x 8.9d cm
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Lottery of Birth

Bernardo Pacquing
Lottery of Birth
2023
13569
2
assemblage, cement mix on panel board, 5 panels
102h x 72w x 6d in • 259.10h x 182.90w x 15d cm (each)
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A Singular Path to Surviving Truth and Logic

Bernardo Pacquing
A Singular Path to Surviving Truth and Logic #01
2024
13580
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found objects with concrete mix
28.5h x 12w x 10d in • 72.4h x 30.5w x 25.4d cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
A Singular Path to Surviving Truth and Logic #02
2024
13579
2
found objects with concrete mix
25.5h x 17w x 57.5d in • 64.8h x 43.2w x 146.1d cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
A Singular Path to Surviving Truth and Logic #03
2024
13578
2
found objects with concrete mix
17.5h x 20w x 7d in • 44.5h x 50.8w x 17.8d cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
A Singular Path to Surviving Truth and Logic #04
2024
13581
2
found objects with concrete mix
31h x 18w x 18.5d in • 78.7h x 45.7w x 47d cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
A Singular Path to Surviving Truth and Logic #05
2024
13582
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found objects with concrete mix
48h x 16.5w x 17d in • 121.9h x 41.9w x 43.2d cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
A Singular Path to Surviving Truth and Logic #06
2024
13583
2
found objects with concrete mix
21.5h x 39w x 20d in • 54.6h x 99.1w x 50.8d cm
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White Noise

Bernardo Pacquing
"Untitled" After Malevich #01
2023
13570
2
wood, cement mix on canvas board
27.75h x 27.75w in • 70.50h x 70.50w cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
"Untitled" After Malevich #02
2023
13571
2
wood, cement mix on canvas board
27.75h x 27.75w in • 70.50h x 70.50w cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
"Untitled" After Malevich #03
2023
13572
2
wood, cement mix on canvas board
27.75h x 27.75w in • 70.50h x 70.50w cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
White Noise #01
2024
13573
2
wood, cement mix on canvas board
27.75h x 27.75w in • 70.50h x 70.50w cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
White Noise #02
2024
13574
2
wood, cement mix on canvas board
27.75h x 27.75w in • 70.50h x 70.50w cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
White Noise #03
2024
13575
2
wood, cement mix on canvas board
27.75h x 27.75w in • 70.50h x 70.50w cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
White Noise #04
2024
13576
2
wood, cement mix on canvas board
27.75h x 27.75w in • 70.50h x 70.50w cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
White Noise #05
2024
13577
2
wood, cement mix on canvas board
27.75h x 27.75w in • 70.50h x 70.50w cm
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Brown Study

Bernardo Pacquing
Brown Study #01
2022
13584
2
cardboard collages
31h x 28w x 2d in • 78.70h x 71.10w x 5.10d cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
Brown Study #02
2022
13585
2
cardboard collages
29h x 29w x 2d in • 73.70h x 73.70w x 5.10d cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
Brown Study #03
2022
13586
2
cardboard collages
31h x 25w x 2d in • 78.70h x 63.50w x 5.10d cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
Brown Study #05
2021
13587
2
cardboard collages
18h x 18w in • 45.70h x 45.70w cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
Brown Study #06
2021
13588
2
cardboard collages
18h x 16w in • 45.70h x 40.60w cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
Brown Study #07
2021
13589
2
cardboard collages
14h x 17w in • 35.60h x 43.20w cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
Brown Study #08
2021
13590
2
cardboard collages
16.0h x 18.0w in • 39.37h x 45.72w cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
Brown Study #09
2021
13591
2
cardboard collages
17.0h x 21.0w in • 43.18h x 53.975w cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
Brown Study #12
2021
13592
2
cardboard collages
18.0h x 21.0w in • 44.45h x 52.07w cm
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Bernardo Pacquing
Brown Study #13
2021
13593
2
cardboard collages
22.0h x 22.0w in • 55.88h x 56.515w cm
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