HomePage Artists

b. 1980, Mexico

Gabriel Rico Biography

Gabriel Rico is an established Mexican contemporary artist known for sculptures and installations that bring together seemingly disparate found, manufactured, and natural objects.

Read More

The influence of Architecture

Born in Lagos de Moreno, Mexico, Gabriel Rico originally studied to become an architect, graduating with a BA from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente, Guadalajara, in 2004. This influenced him to import into his art the principle of construction that requires mixing various materials to create structural coherence and suggest form.

Natural and Unnatural Forms

Gabriel Rico's current body of work focuses on combining disparate natural and unnatural objects in precise compositions that are structured to explore their relationship and broader context.

Making nods to both post-Surrealism and Arte Povera, Rico draws upon a broad range of materials. The artist collects and incorporates into his work natural objects—including rocks, branches, neon, taxidermy specimens and preserved insects—and discarded and manufactured cultural objects such as ceramics, CDs, glass bottles, phones, and various sports balls. These are combined with neon shapes and more personal items from the artist's past.

Logic and Relationships

Rico uses equations or formulations in arranging the objects that combine to form his artworks. In works like II Mural (2020) commonplace objects are arranged on a white wall with various graphite symbols and arrows creating eloquent and seemingly legible equations and correlations that connect them.

This is done more subtly in Gabriel Rico's Nimble and sinister tricks (To be preserved with out scandal and corruption) I (2018), where the artist brought together contrasting natural and man-made objects, held in place in a single sheet of glass. The glass in this particular artwork was the cause of some media attention after it was accidentally shattered in an incident at ZONAMACO 2020 in Mexico City.

An explanation of the exact logic within the combination of such objects in these compositions is never immediately apparent. Instead, they encourage the viewer to reflect on the materials and the juxtaposition of objects with the elements that compose them, as well as their broader significance, both within Mexico and a global context.

These various compositions are created as environments to generate deeper discussions of the relationship between nature, myth, architecture, and contemporary human life. Gabriel Rico's Aspen Art Museum solo show The Discipline of the Cave (2019) created a portrait of contemporary life by fusing natural forms—shrubbery, cacti, and taxidermy animals—with kitsch such as cola bottles, fake sausages, dice, and a skeleton.

The Discipline of the Cave, the title of which is borrowed from one of Plato's philosophical concepts, represents how Gabriel Rico's work is guided by the artist's fascination with philosophy and science. The resulting works examine themes ranging from invisible sound spectrums to the modern production and consumption of food.

Collections and Exhibitions

Gabriel Rico's artworks have been exhibited in institutional and gallery shows across the globe. His work can be found in institutional collections including the Arizona Art Museum, Phoenix; Sinaloa Art Museum, Culiacán, Mexico; Pérez Art Museum Miami; and Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands.

Selected solo exhibitions include Gabriel Rico: Nature Loves to Hide, Perrotin, Paris (2020); The Discipline of the Cave, Aspen Art Museum (2019); DEAD DEAD LIVE DEAD, ASU Art Museum, Phoenix (2017); ZEA MAYS, Museo de Arte Zapopan, Mexico (2015); SUPERPOCICION, City Museum, Guadalajara (2014); B @ V, Sinaloa Art Museum, Culiacán, Mexico (2013).

Selected group exhibitions include The Quintessence of Consciusness, Royal College of Art, London (2020); Golden Hour, Le Musée Mobile Nouvelle Génération, Lille, France (2019); Reconstrucción, an Abraham Cruzvillegas Project, Museo de Arte Zapopan, Mexico (2016); Artesano / Artista 3.0, Museo de Arte Popular, Mexico City (2013); Firulais, City Museum, Guadalajara (2008).

Gabriel Rico lives and works in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Michael Irwin | Ocula | 2021

Exhibition view: Gabriel Rico, I may use an electric drill, but I also use a hammer, OMR, Mexico City (20 March–14 August 2021). Courtesy OMR. Photos: Fernando Marroquin.

Gabriel Rico Featured Artworks

View All (25)
Las cosas antiguas que nos pertenecen
(Icosahedron/satellite) by Gabriel Rico contemporary artwork
Gabriel RicoLas cosas antiguas que nos pertenecen (Icosahedron/satellite), 2021Wood carving (cedar, pine and walnut) & assemblies, polychrome oil painting
210 x 70 x 60 cm
Sold
OMR
Las cosas antiguas que nos pertenecen
(Dodecahedron/toilet) by Gabriel Rico contemporary artwork
Gabriel RicoLas cosas antiguas que nos pertenecen (Dodecahedron/toilet), 2021Wood carving (cedar, pine and walnut) & assemblies, polychrome oil painting
205 x 110 x 65 cm
OMR Enquire
Las cosas antiguas que nos pertenecen
(Hexahedron/Cheetos) by Gabriel Rico contemporary artwork
Gabriel RicoLas cosas antiguas que nos pertenecen (Hexahedron/Cheetos), 2021Wood carving (cedar, pine and walnut) & assemblies, polychrome oil painting
200 x 80 x 60 cm
Sold
OMR
Las cosas antiguas que nos pertenecen (Tetahedron/parachute) by Gabriel Rico contemporary artwork
Gabriel RicoLas cosas antiguas que nos pertenecen (Tetahedron/parachute), 2021Wood carving (cedar, pine and walnut) & assemblies, polychrome oil painting
190 x 80 x 60 cm
Sold
OMR
I take comfort from your ignorance by Gabriel Rico contemporary artwork
Gabriel RicoI take comfort from your ignorance, 2017Plastic hose, cement, branch, PVC tube, owl legs, neon, wild turkey feather, metal sickle, ceramic
130 x 90 cm
Perrotin Contact Gallery
Multis utile bellum by Gabriel Rico contemporary artwork
Gabriel RicoMultis utile bellum, 2017Bobcat, branch, neon, plastic, concrete
179.7 x 311.2 x 45.7 cm
Perrotin Contact Gallery
Sección aurea by Gabriel Rico contemporary artwork
Gabriel RicoSección aurea, 2017Taxidermied pheasant, branches, gold leaf
147.3 x 134.6 x 177.8 cm
Perrotin Contact Gallery
Siete by Gabriel Rico contemporary artwork
Gabriel RicoSiete, 2017Brass, ceramic, branches, plate, knife, neon, shell
33 x 208.3 x 15.2 cm
Perrotin Contact Gallery

Gabriel Rico Current & Recent Exhibitions

View All (8)
Contemporary art exhibition, Gabriel Rico, I May Use an Electric Drill, But I Also Use a Hammer at OMR, Mexico City
Open Now
20 March–14 August 2021 Gabriel Rico I May Use an Electric Drill, But I Also Use a Hammer OMRMexico City
Contemporary art exhibition, Gabriel Rico, Of Beauty and Consolation at Perrotin, New York
Closed
29 April–5 June 2021 Gabriel Rico Of Beauty and Consolation PerrotinNew York
Contemporary art exhibition, Gabriel Rico, Nature Loves To Hide at Perrotin, Paris
Closed
23 May–14 August 2020 Gabriel Rico Nature Loves To Hide PerrotinParis

Gabriel Rico Represented By

OMR contemporary art gallery in Mexico City, Mexico OMR Mexico City
Perrotin contemporary art gallery in Paris, France Perrotin Hong Kong, New York, Paris, Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo

Gabriel Rico In Ocula Magazine

Zona Maco Art Week: Shows to See Ocula Feature Zona Maco Art Week: Shows to See By Tessa Moldan, Mexico City

Running between 27 April and 2 May 2021, Zona Maco Art week brings together a programme of exhibitions across Mexico City.

Fade out copy.
Read More
Mexico's FEMSA Biennial Finds Ways To Decentre Ocula Conversation Mexico's FEMSA Biennial Finds Ways To Decentre By Sara Garzon, Mexico

FEMSA Biennial offers a decentralised exhibition format that engages local audiences across Morelia and Pátzcuaro in Mexico.

Fade out copy.
Read More
Paris Gallery Weekend: Exhibitions to See Ocula Feature Paris Gallery Weekend: Exhibitions to See By Tessa Moldan, Paris

Ocula presents a selection of exhibitions to catch during the 7th edition of Paris Gallery Weekend.

Fade out copy.
Read More

In Ocula Advisory

Six London Gallery Weekend Highlights Advisory Pick

Ocula Advisory select six exhibition highlights on view during London Gallery Weekend.

Fade out copy.
Read More

Gabriel Rico In Related Press

Latin American Galleries Missing Out on Miami Beach Have Banded Together to Form Their Own Version of Art Basel in Mexico City Related Press Latin American Galleries Missing Out on Miami Beach Have Banded Together to Form Their Own Version of Art Basel in Mexico City 23 November 2020, artnet news

First there was Art Basel. Then there was Art Basel in Hong Kong and Miami Beach. Now there's Art Basel Mexico City—sort of.

Fade out copy.
Read More
At home with artist Gabriel Rico Related Press At home with artist Gabriel Rico 24 April 2020, Wallpaper*

Even in a period of social distancing, the art world continues to turn. In our ongoing series, we go home, from home, with artists finding inspiration in isolation. Reached during his temporary seclusion among the Mexican mountains, Gabriel Rico reveals how his poetic assemblages of found objects draw on culture, philosophy and the natural order...

Fade out copy.
Read More

Gabriel Rico In Video & Audio

GABRIEL RICO "NATURE LOVES TO HIDE" AT PERROTIN PARIS Related Video & Audio GABRIEL RICO "NATURE LOVES TO HIDE" AT PERROTIN PARIS 4 August 2020, Galerie Perrotin

Artist Gabriel Rico introduces his exhibition 'Nature Loves to Hide' at Perrotin Paris (May 23—-August 14, 2020)

Fade out copy.
View More
TALK GABRIEL RICO & JULIO CESAR MORALES Related Video & Audio TALK GABRIEL RICO & JULIO CESAR MORALES 12 January 2018, Perrotin

Talk between Gabriel Rico and curator Julio Cesar Morales on the occasion of the exhibition One Law for The Lion and Ox is Oppression at Perrotin New York Thursday November 23, 2017

Fade out copy.
View More
Gabriel Rico 'One Law for The Lion & Ox is Oppression', Perrotin New York Related Video & Audio Gabriel Rico 'One Law for The Lion & Ox is Oppression', Perrotin New York 5 December 2017, Perrotin

Gabriel Rico One Law for The Lion & Ox is Oppression November 5–December 23, 2017 Perrotin New York © Guillaume Ziccarelli 2017

Fade out copy.
View More
Sign up to be notified when new artworks and exhibitions by Gabriel Rico are added to Ocula.
Sign Up