Manuel Pardo show at Emerson

Mt. Tremper — The Emerson Resort & Spa in Mt. Tremper is honored to have been chosen to host a gallery showing of the works of Manuel Pardo. The opening reception on Saturday, May 4 will include an appearance by renowned art expert and art aficionado David Frankel, editorial director for the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Attending guests who are inspired by Pardo will be able to purchase pieces from the Pardo Collection as well as Manuel Pardo: Universo Sonado in Technicolor (2011, Mike McGee, David Frankel, Manuel Pardo), a luxurious volume showcasing hundreds of color reproductions representing the artist’s 30-year history of paintings and drawings.

The poignant and heartfelt works of Manuel Pardo have been widely exhibited in the U.S., Europe and Mexico. Born in Cardenas, Cuba in 1952, Pardo and his sister were two of the more than 14,000 children who left Cuba in what became known as the Peter Pan airlift. The airlift offered Cubans opposed to the Castro regime a quick escape out of the country for their children, however, parents were forced to remain in Cuba. Pardo and his sister survived under the care of foster families until they were reunited with their mother, Gladys Pardo, in 1966.

Cuban life
In Cuba, Gladys Pardo was an educated woman and had a secure career as a medical professional; in the United States she was not qualified to practice medicine and instead worked 16 hours a day, 6 days a week, as a factory worker to support herself and her children. Gladys is a prime source of the images of women that figure so heavily in Pardo’s work, and his devotion and reverence for his mother’s sacrifices are shown in the way he adorns women in elaborate dresses, hats and stiletto heels, seating them in rooms richly furnished with swagged drapes, patterned wall papers, and paintings on the wall. His drawings are an adoring, grateful son’s gift of extravagances to the mother who gave up everything for her children.

Mixed media
Using metallic inks and archival pens, the color palette for Pardo’s drawings is reminiscent of the 1950s. “Technicolor – that’s the tint of the times I grew up in,” explained Pardo in an interview. In addition to celebrating his mother, there are also drawings that cope with being gay and losing loved ones to the AIDS crisis that began in the 1980s.

“All his (Pardo’s) works are concerned with deconstructing or breaking down stereotypes and prejudices,” said Gerard A. Goodrow, former director of contemporary art for Christie’s International in London. Marcia Tucker, founding director of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, says Pardo’s work is “in part reminiscent of the world around us – late sixties (Pucci-type) fabric design, but his pop sensibility is improbably combined with stylistic hints of such early modernist giants as Picasso and Matisse.”

To complement Pardo’s pieces, the May 4 opening night reception will feature his artwork displayed amidst a collection of 1950s and 1960s period furniture provided by Velsani Antiques. The furniture, also available for purchase, will be displayed at the reception only. For more information, contact Tamara Murray at tmurray@emersonresort.com or 877 688-2828, ext. 7631.