Rose Burlingham Contemporary Watercolor is pleased to present the first
exhibition of Manuel Pardo’s watercolors. Pardo invents a new style and new
techniques with each body of work. He learned the traditions of watercolor painting
in high school and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art. He later wiped the slate
clean and began to simply draw and color in.

The directness of the hand, in the act of drawing- is the basis of all his work;
Single color, Technicolor, Metaplasmic paintings or Stardust drawings. Watercolor
 is a primary and as the artist says “substantial” medium for Pardo, one he
executes in the same way as any other.

 A fetish for materials is only the starting point. Recent watercolors contain
intense powdered pigments, forgotten substances like cuchinilla, alizarin sapphire,
azo napthol red, Erie pink, eosine, from a cache found at the flea market.
The rare golden toned colors recall those used in the 1930’s by Diego Rivera,
 Frida Kahlo, and Thomas Hart Benton. With the application of the pigments
to heavy deckled edged paper custom made in Mexico City—he performs a kind of alchemy .

Pardo uses a system of repetition, rendering his signature images over and over;
each blonde, each urn, each shoe or handbag becomes a transcendent portrait.
The results are always surprising, always new. As ever, impossible to classify.