Lisbon, Portugal, 1973


Barbara Assis Pacheco (1973, Lisbon) agrees with Goethe when he says that ‘we talk too much – we should talk less and draw’. She is, in fact, quite laconic and summarizes her activity in 4 words: «Makes drawings and things». Things and drawings, it should be said, always surprising and always situated in a line of observation and questioning of nature – starting with human nature – even in this micro-universe that are the ‘cabinets de curiosités’, which she loves so much. The media she chooses to draw often give subversive use to papers not intended for ‘artistic creation’ but rather for words: Effeuillages, for instance, from the ‘Ridicule’ series (2018), drawn on envelopes, among many other possible examples: sheets of letterhead, forms, etc.
With an extensive and very rich work based in ethnology and natural science’s museum collections, Barbara Assis Pacheco draws particular attention to animals and plants and to the reflection on “the natural size of things” (she has very large scale works) in its relationship with our body, space and time. Always with a questioning, sharp and ironic look and a mastery of the trait, and media that make her a truly unique case in the Portuguese art scene.