* 1971, Mexico City
Fernando Ortega’s practice is difficult to classify: largely concerned with poetic, serendipitous moments that arise from the processes of daily life, his pieces take on many forms. For Ortega, art making is an exploration of his own doubts and curiosities about the mysteries he encounters in the world. The emotional and conceptual residue of these confrontations has an understated, latent potential that can be felt and glimpsed in his practice. Through installation, performance, and sound, he modifies spaces, stages actions and works with materials as diverse as spider webs and construction cranes. In his projects, the idea of spectacle generally associated with galleries and museums is transported outside the exhibition space into a day-to-day realm, where the subtleties of the mundane and neglected take the center stage. The notion of chance understood as a lack of order and predictability, has also played a major role in his explorations. Many of Ortega’s works balance gracefully between visibility and invisibility: they examine the relative scale and permanence of materials; and explore our human relationship to time and how it informs our experience of the world.
His most important solo exhibitions include: Nota Rosa, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2016); Fernando Ortega, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012); Fernando Ortega, Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Arte (MUCA), Mexico City (2008); Levitación asistida, Museo de Arte Carillo Gil, Mexico City (2008); Recital de piano, Casa del Lago Juan José Arreola | UNAM, Mexico City (2008); Winter Falls, Bonner Kunstverein und Artothek, Bonn, Germany (2008); Project Room, ARCO 04, Madrid (2004); Intervención sonora, Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City (2000); Resumen, Fundación Ludwig de Cuba, La Havana (1998).
He has also participated in the following group exhibitions: Modos de Oír, Ex-Teresa Arte Actual, Laboratorio de Arte Alameda, Mexico City, Mexico (2018); Reverberaciones: arte y sonido en las colecciones del MUAC, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2017); The Transported Man, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum (MSU Broad), Michigan, United States (2017); Punto de partida. Colección Isabel y Agustín Coppel, Sala de Arte Fundación Banco Santander, Madrid (2017); More Than Just Words [On the Poetic], Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria (2017); Variaciones sobre tema mexicano. Arte Torre Iberdrola, Bilbao, Spain (2016); Strange Currencies: Art & Action in Mexico city 1990-2000, The Galleries at Moore, Philadelphia, United States (2015); Season 8: Pierre Huyghe, The Artist’s Institute, New York (2014); El testigo del siglo, Museo de Arte Zapopan, Mexico (2014); When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes, MOCAD Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, United States (2013) and CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, United States (2012); El cazador y la fábrica, Fundación Colección Jumex, Mexico City (2013); All of This and Nothing, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2011); Mexico: Expected / Unexpected - collection Isabel et Agustín Coppel, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, United States (2011) and La maison rouge, Paris (2008); The Moon is an Arrant Thief, David Roberts Art Foundation DRAFT, London (2010); among others.
His work has also been a part of the following biennials: 14e Biennale de Lyon, France (2017); 11th SP-Arte – São Paulo International Art Festival, Brazil (2015); 13. İstanbul Bienali, Turkey (2013); 30a, 27a, and 25a Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2012, 2006, and 2002, respectivly); Biennial of the Americas, Denver, United States (2010); Biennale Cuvée 08, Linz, Austria (2008); 50th Venice Biennial (2003).
Fernando Ortega lives and works in Mexico City.