Time, light and earth: the Art and colours of Maria Pacheco Cibils

The online column “Piazza Navona” is happy to host a very special Art Encounter. Today we have the pleasure of having the Argentine-Portuguese artist Maria Pacheco Cibils in our virtual piazza, who will tell us about her colours and works.

“Hŭmus” (Edizioni Sabinae, 2022)

Maria Pacheco Cibils: Argentine-Portuguese designer and visual artist works in interior architecture, stage design, painting and installations. Her watchword is ‘colour’, in full harmony with the elements and the supple and perpetual motion of Nature.

This, in fact, is what transpires from his solo exhibitions such as Il Tempo sospeso, Luminescenza and Hŭmus (for which Edizioni Sabinae edited and published the respective catalogues). Time, light and earth become the pivotal elements of Maria Pacheco Cibils’ artistic poetics, which, coming to life on canvas, become living matter eager to bypass and go beyond the one-dimensionality to enter three-dimensionality. Thus, colour becomes the protagonist and element of conjunction between idea and matter, between abstract and concrete, between theory and practice. The artist works the colour while leaving it authentic, free to breathe and to give itself to the canvas from which it is absorbed but also capable of giving life to forms, density, perspective, lines and, indeed, matter.

“Luminescenza” (Edizioni Sabinae, 2021)

Maria Pacheco Cibils’ works step out of the limits of the canvas to the point of caressing the viewer who, at the same time, is drawn into the heart of the work and gently pushed away to better absorb it in the gaze and the power of its wholeness. The Argentine-Portuguese artist’s canvases are powerful: they taste of earth, light and time… they taste of life and the choice of his overlapping yet well-distributed colors in space are visual and tangible proof of this. The viewer cannot feel that he or she is a part of the whole that the canvas represents and by which he or she is lovingly embraced and involved eliminating altogether the detachment between one and the other becoming a single, indivisible, harmoniously perfect body. Yes, because in this relationship that is created there is real music punctuated by the dance of colors that the Artist gives us and the waltz turns that the gaze takes to embrace and enter into the spirit and the story of the work that it observes.

These are exactly the sensations experienced in front of the works on display in Maria Pacheco Cibils’ solo exhibition entitled Hŭmus held at the Angelica Library last October 2022 on the occasion of the seventh edition of Raw Rome Art Week – The week of contemporary art.

Hŭmus is translated from Latin as soil, terrain, ground, and it is with these words that Maria Pacheco Cibils explains its meaning and value:

Deep sediment that allows the passage to life. Subtle, subterranean texture that favours fertility, fecundity and creation. Essential element for existence. Soul, spirit, heart and lung of the world. Shelter, open space, great mother, matter, lifeblood, oxygen, breath… Regeneration, renewal. Secret, ancestral breath, green moisture, forest of bluish shadows, foliage, expanding nature where filtering reflections shine in the eyes. Senses and scents, sounds and colours; a sensory journey charged with energy in constant motion… an immense ‘green hand’ that for Michel Pastoureau becomes a symbol of destiny, hope, nature and freedom. To care for the natural environment is to take care, to receive care. Protecting this precious heritage is not just an ecological imperative but a philosophical one. It means to open up, to extend, to welcome the world inside in order to radiate it at every vital moment.

Maria Pacheco Cibils, “Selva”

This exhibition of seventeen large canvases and one installation is life, earth, substance, scents, sounds… it is the earth that pulses, that breathes, that exchanges its own breath with that of the spectator who is welcomed and pleasantly surrounded by an almost other, ancestral, wild and extremely real reality. Green, yellow, blue, red these are the dominant colours that swirl, climb and expand on the canvas. Expanded spots of colour and drops of colour that are not a little reminiscent of the celebrated works of the American painter Jackson Pollock, albeit less “aggressive” but more conciliatory, relaxing, enveloping. One could almost say that Pacheco Cibils’ works enact a sort of chromotherapy that tightens in a strong and tender embrace anyone who wishes to approach such wonder and such strength dressed and painted (it really has to be said!) with cautious and wild sweetness.

And it is with great pride and immense pleasure to host in our virtual square the Artist Maria Pacheco Cibils to better tell us about her Art, her colours, her canvases, her upcoming projects. Don’t miss this interesting Art meeting!

Maria Pacheco Cibils, “Verde verticale”

How did your encounter with Art and Painting come about?

I am privileged in life, I grew up in a family that loved art. As a young girl, I learnt several disciplines: Dance (I am a teacher of Classical, Spanish and Contemporary Dance), I studied piano, guitar, History of Art, I have a degree in Design. Logically in my creative journey I had to take an extra leap and I chose Painting and Installations. I attended painting school in Rome.

How would you define your painting style?

I do Abstract painting with a gestural material language, one could say informal expressionist, with layering and the inclusion of heterogeneous materials that accentuate the idea of three-dimensionality.

Which Artists and works have influenced and helped shape your Art and your being an Artist?

Maria Pacheco Cibils, “Espansione”

So many!!! The classics, 20th century Impressionism: Burri, Fontana, Mark Rothko, Hans Hartung, the brilliant Vedova. Among the Contemporaries I have great admiration for the work of Soulages, Anish Kapoor, Gherard Richter and Anselm Kiefer.

What is the work of art (painting, sculpture, performance, installation, etc.) that you would have liked to think of and create? And why?

The one I haven’t done yet, the one that still lives in my unconscious…. because it has to find the light, exist… It is pure magic…

I know I’m going to ask you a difficult question but where or from whom do you draw inspiration for your work?

From life, from nature, from dreams, from films, from the great masters. However, I believe deeply in work and I always keep in mind the saying: 10% inspiration 90% perspiration by the great Rudolf Nureyev.

Maria Pacheco Cibils, “Spirito”

You have now been adopted by Rome where you live and work. What can you tell us about your relationship with Rome? Has the ‘Eternal City’ ever inspired one of your works, one of your creations?

All of Rome is a strong inspiration for me. Living in the most beautiful city in the world is world is undoubtedly a constant stimulus. Its ‘Great Beauty’ awakens the senses and the will to do. It is my place of the soul.

Suspended Time, Luminescence and Hŭmus are your solo exhibitions whose protagonists are time, light and earth. Here: what relationship do you have with these three elements?

My research is centred on the investigation of the four elements of nature and the transformation processes of the human being. They are therefore a source of continuous observation.

Last October, your solo exhibition Hŭmus was held at the Angelica Library in Rome on the occasion of RAW- La Settimana di Arte Contemporanea. What did this experience and the contact with visitors, tourists and other artists from all over the world leave you with?

Il catalogo della mostra “Hŭmus” (Edizioni Sabinae, 2022)

Every exhibition, especially a solo exhibition, leaves a heap of wonderful experiences. The energy of the people, and the exchange with the public and the artists are crucial because Art is Communication and I always receive a charge that regenerates me. It is difficult to be naked. This is what an artist does: he shows his deepest being with great courage, he is skinless…. it is hard, it is impactful! … one has to go through fear…

Most of your works are of a considerable size, what is this particular choice due to?

I feel comfortable in very large spaces. Perhaps because I come from a place where immensity is always present….

Dedica di Maria Pacheco Cibils sul catalogo della mostra “Hŭmus” (Edizioni Sabinae, 2022)

All your works have well-defined colours in every nuance and are so consistent that they go beyond two-dimensionality, they seem to come out of your canvases to meet the public. How do you create this intimate relationship with colour that is also reminiscent of Pollock’s painting?

My relationship with colours is intimate, strong, violent, physical. From the continuous dialogue with them, new shades and their intensity also arise in a constant layering.

From the conception to the realisation phase: what is the most complex phase of your work? And why?

The most complex? Each phase has its own preparation, its own time, its own importance always in great concentration, to arrive at the final and understand when the work is finished… perhaps this is the most complex phase: the final.

Maria Pacheco Cibils, “Il tempo sospeso” (Edizioni Sabinae, 2020)

What are your next professional and artistic commitments?

The 2023 agenda is quite full: at the end of January I will have an exhibition in Rome in a very well-known gallery, in March I will be in Venice with a Personal Exhibition, in October I was invited to participate in the Florence Biennale and I will participate as always in RAW and I will be at the Angelica Library Gallery again. Rome is now my second home. There are other proposals still to be defined and a programme of work in Spain and Portugal that make me very happy!!! An interesting year, isn’t it??!

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