Gabriel Orozco Biography

Painted, assembled, collaged, photographed and sculpted, Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco's work has been unrestricted by mediums since the 1990s. Running through Orozco's practice is his ongoing interest in the everyday and the reframing of common objects to provoke new associations.

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Education

Born in Jalapa, Mexico, Orozco studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City (1981–4) and at the Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid (1986–7).

Artworks

Recurrent motifs in Orozco's work include games, logic systems, geometry, and, above all, the everyday and ordinary.

The Everyday

Orozco often places common objects, both slightly modified or as they are found, in unusual places to challenge conventional notions of reality. In a journal entry from 1992, the artist writes that he is perhaps drawn to ordinary objects for accessibility, and for their perverse capacity to generate mystery by 'being commonplace'.

Participating in the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993, Orozco exhibited an empty shoebox in a corridor — an artwork that, by virtue of its ordinariness, prompted the viewer's curiosity or indifference. In the times that Empty Shoe Box have been exhibited, including at New York's Museum of Modern Art and London's Tate Modern, the artwork has been overlooked, accidentally kicked, or attracted litter or coins.

Conflicting ideas also converge in Orozco's artworks, as with La DS (1993), a Citroën automobile that was cut into three pieces then reassembled without the central component, so that the shape became more streamlined but the car now failed to function because of its lack of an engine. La DS was recreated in 2013 as La DS Cornaline, using a deep red Citroën DS from the 1960s.

In 1997, while recovering from an illness, Orozco meticulously drew a checkerboard pattern onto a real human skull. Titled Black Kites, the work exists at the intersection of several polarities: a two-dimensional drawing on a three-dimensional object; the organic and inorganic; and the abstract and the corporeal. For the artist, the most important aspect of this, what he has playfully called, 'skullture', is the concentration of time imbued in the object from the carefully hand-rendered checkered decoration.

Games

Recurring motifs in Orozco's work are games and their systems, which the artist considers as the methods of organising the world in their respective cultures. Carambole with Pendulum (1996), for example, defies conventions by turning the rectangular billiard table into an oval, with two white balls on the surface and a third, red ball suspended over it as a pendulum. In Ping-Pond Table (1998), Orozco intersected two ping pong tables to create a cross, placing a lotus pond in the middle, in an attempt to open up a new, in-between space that evades existing rules of the game.

Games of movement are at the centre of the series 'The Atomists' (1996), in which Orozco paints ovals and circles — usually divided into two or three colours — onto newspaper clippings of sporting events. Combining photographic and painted images of movement, the artist creates new rhythms and dynamics in the work.

Diario de Plantas

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Orozco began 'Diario de Plantas' (Diary of Plants), a series of tempera and watercolour paintings, as well as drawings depicting indigenous plants in his residential cities of Mexico City and Tokyo. Radiant and subdued hues alternate across the works in the series, as do geometric and organic forms.

Exhibitions

Gabriel Orozco has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions internationally.

Solo exhibitions include: Gabriel Orozco, White Cube, London (2022); Diario de plantas, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris (2022); Gabriel Orozco, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York (2020); Gabriel Orozco, Aspen Art Museum, Colorado (2016); Gabriel Orozco: Inner Cycles, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (2015).

Group exhibitions include: Still Alive, Aichi Triennale (2022); Excepciones Normales, Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2021); Siembra (sowing), Kurimanzutto, Mexico City (2020); Picture Fiction: Kenneth Josephson and Contemporary Photography, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2018); Primary structures and speculative forms, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2016–17).

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2022

Gabriel Orozco
featured artworks

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26.I.22 (b) #8 by Gabriel Orozco contemporary artwork painting
Gabriel Orozco 26.I.22 (b) #8, 2022 Gouache, tempera, ink, and graphite on paper
16.8 x 12.1 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery Request Price & Availability
Moon Tree by Gabriel Orozco contemporary artwork sculpture
Gabriel Orozco Moon Tree, 1996-2022 Ficus tree, silk leaves, plastic branches, paper discs, plastic pot, bark chips
Marian Goodman Gallery Request Price & Availability
Monkey Family by Gabriel Orozco contemporary artwork photography
Gabriel Orozco Monkey Family, 2015 Pigment print
50.8 x 40.6 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery Request Price & Availability
Samurai Tree 1M by Gabriel Orozco contemporary artwork painting
Gabriel Orozco Samurai Tree 1M, 2006 Egg tempera on oak panel with gold leaf
55 x 55 cm
White Cube Request Price & Availability
Untitled by Gabriel Orozco contemporary artwork painting
Gabriel Orozco Untitled, 2023 Tempera and gold leaf on linen canvas
200 x 200 cm
Galerie Chantal Crousel Request Price & Availability
24.I.22 (c) #14 by Gabriel Orozco contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Gabriel Orozco 24.I.22 (c) #14, 2022 Gouache, tempera, ink and graphite on paper
16.5 x 12.8 cm
Galerie Chantal Crousel Request Price & Availability
Rotating Pressures by Gabriel Orozco contemporary artwork sculpture
Gabriel Orozco Rotating Pressures, 2012 Five terracottas
Galerie Chantal Crousel Request Price & Availability
Zugaikotsu by Gabriel Orozco contemporary artwork painting
Gabriel Orozco Zugaikotsu, 2020 Tempera and gold leaf on linen canvas
120 x 120 x 3.2 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery Request Price & Availability
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Gabriel Orozco
recent exhibitions

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Represented by these
Ocula Member Galleries

Marian Goodman Gallery contemporary art gallery in New York, United States
Marian Goodman Gallery Los Angeles, New York, Paris
White Cube contemporary art gallery in Bermondsey, London, United Kingdom
White Cube Hong Kong, London, New York, Seoul, Paris +1
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