Celebrated for his use of vibrant colours, eclectic patterns, natural and industrial materials, and craftsmanship and computer-aided production, Pardo, a MacArthur Fellowship recipient, has since the 1990s questioned distinctions between fine art, architecture and design. Characterised by its fluidity between genres, his diverse work ranges from sculptures and murals to home furnishings and even entire buildings and public spaces.
The exhibition will feature unique chandeliers, ranging in scale from 1 to 1.7 metres tall, suspended at various heights throughout the first-floor gallery of Wharf Road. While distinct in terms of their materials, colour and texture, the chandeliers share certain natural forms – including those derived from the gallery’s canalside garden and the verdant jungle landscape of Mérida, Mexico, where the artist lives and works. In addition, new paintings made of layers of laser-cut birch wood and MDF, perforated and painted to give an indication of landscapes partially veiled by moiré-like interference patterns, will be displayed in the ground-floor gallery.
Leading the viewer through the space, the works offer an extended consideration of physicality and immateriality, the visible and invisible. While the chandeliers themselves possess sculptural form as objects, demanding a physical encounter, the light they emit, variously controlled and directed, is less tangible, experienced in the spaces between each work and the surrounding architecture, set aglow and appearing to change throughout the day according to ambient light conditions. Similarly, the paintings are installed to optimise a sense of light passing through them and the play of shadows on the gallery walls. The gallery itself – its walls, floors and ceilings – becomes part of an overall composition, a space shaped by the artist to play with expectations and offer a shifting meditation on form, function, texture and colour.