by Pato Bosich
Three Highgate will be presenting a new exhibition of works on paper by London-based Chilean artist, Pato Bosich. Currently the gallery’s artist in residence, Bosich is showing his ongoing body of work inspired by the British Museum’s collections of Mesoamerican, Egyptian, Greek, Mesopotamian and other antiquities. Using pencil, ink, and wine, Bosich has developed this imaginative series over a period of more than nine years, both on-site at the museum and in his studio, where he would often continue working on the drawings, embellishing them with his unique dream-like visions.
The exhibition opens an extraordinary dialogue between this contemporary artist’s Latin American cultural sensibility and the British Museum’s antiquities collection viewed through a Eurocentric prism.
In many ancient cultures, the supernatural and the fantastic are accessed through anthropomorphism, the hybrid fusion of animal and human forms, in particular the female form. Ancient art has an evocative presence that is never merely visual. Bosich’s multi-sensory response to the antiquities give a tactile, textured quality to his drawings. Symbols are embodied to play and multiply with each other and new forms are reconfigured as the artist navigates these ancient époques. His drawings thus represent a form of artistic ‘time-travel’, a fusion of past, present, and future into a cohesive whole.
The artworks contain a playful, vibrant and sensual dance between what is observed and what is added by suggestion. Something vital from before our culture seeps through, causing reconnection with a primeval realm.
“By drawing directly from artifacts, in their presence, I necessarily disrupt their equilibrium. As if I ‘open them up’, but not by deconstructing or interpreting them. I create a disbalance, a void on the page based on instinct. Through that void, that open space, I later re-enter. When successful, the new artwork brings about its own harmony, its own magic equilibrium akin to the original but this time contemporary.” Pato Bosich
“These works are Bosich’s unique response to the materiality and iconography of the antiquities, and his fascination for their fragmentation over the course of history.” James Putnam
Pato Bosich was born in Chile in 1978, studied fine art in London where he lives and works. He has exhibited extensively internationally in galleries and public museums.
This selection, which covers works done from 2016 to the present, is curated by James Putnam, an independent curator and writer and former founder curator of the British Museum’s Contemporary Arts and Cultures Programme.