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Biography

gabriel_orozco_kunsthaus_bregenz_2013

gabriel orozco

1962, Jalapa, Mexico

‘During the 1990s, Gabriel Orozco developed a solid body of work - both in the precise and concise way he dealt with his subject matters and for these subjects themselves: rare and powerful. Thus, his reputation as an artist with an acute puissance for the formal was rapidly established; as well as his bold and innovative understanding of the limits of sculpture - a bordering notion in which sculpture is reduced to its more immediate expression, left, at times, on the verge of extinction.’

- María Minera, Mexican art critic

Working through drawing, photography, sculpture and installation, Orozco draws from everyday materials and circumstances from his own encounters and routines. Playing with ideas of accessibility, his work revolves around recurrent themes and explores materials with multiplicity that allows the viewer’s imagination to discover creative associations between aspects of everyday life often overlooked or ignored. From the beginning of his career, Orozco’s nomadic lifestyle effected both the production and aesthetic of his work.  His lack of a primary ‘home base’ lent a more fluid aspect to his production, allowing for the growth of a rich heteronomy of materials and themes marked by a conceptual openness to spontaneity and circumstance. Although it might be difficult to describe Orozco’s work in terms of a physical outcome – the artist has more of an interest in questions rather than statements, and emphasizes the potential within mutating materials, forms and meanings.

Gabriel Orozco was born in Jalapa in the Mexican state of Veracruz, to an artistic left-wing family that moved to Mexico City during his childhood. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, UNAM (1981-1984) and at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid (1986-1987). From 1987 to 1992, he led the Taller de los viernes (Friday Workshop), at his home in Tlalpan, which became a nexus of discussion and artistic production to which Abraham Cruzvillegas, Gabriel Kuri, Dr. Lakra and Damián Ortega all participated.

Gabriel Orozco has been the recipient of many awards, including: the REDCAT Award by REDCAT CalArts' downtown center for contemporary arts, Los Angeles (2015); Cultural Achievement Award granted by The Americas Society (2014); he was decorated as an officier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture (2012); and received the Blauorange Kunstpreis granted by the Deutsche Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbankende (2006).

Gabriel Orozco lives and works in Tokyo, Mexico City, New York and Paris.

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails

sleeping dog, 1990

silver dye bleach print

20 x 16 in.

 

my hands are my heart, 1991
two silver dye bleach prints
9.13 x 12.5 in each

 

 

my hand is the memory of space, 1991
wooden ice cream spoons
variable dimensions

 

 

island whithin an island, 1993
silver dye bleach print
16 x 20 in.

 

 

yielding stone, 1992
digital print
15.98 x 20 in.

 

 

extension of reflection, 1992
digital print
15.98 x 20 in.

 

 

crazy tourist, 1991
digital print
16 x 20 in.

 

 

 


 

 

cats and watermelons, 1992
digital print

16 x 20 in.

 

 

la ds, 1993
modified citroën
55.16 x 189.96 x 45.31 in.

 

 

pinched ball, 1993

silver dye bleach print

 

16 x 20 in.

 

home run, 1993

oranges 

variable dimensions

installation views of projects 41: gabriel orozco, museum of modern art, new york, 1993

 

 

 

empty shoe box, 1993
silver dye bleach print
16 x 20 in. 

 

 

 


 

 

from roof to roof, 1993
silver dye bleach print
16 x 20 in.

 

 

four bicycles (there is always one direction), 1994
bicycles
77.99 x 87.99 x 87.99 in.

 

 

elevator, 1994
modified elevator cabin

95.98 x 95.98 x 60 in.

 

horses running endlessley, 1995
wood
3.38 x 34.38 x 34.38 in.

 

 

 


 

 

atomists: aspirilla, 1996
digital print
78.75 x 115 in.

 

 

ping-pond table, 1998

modified ping-pong table, water lilies, soil, stones and water

30 x 167.75 x 167.75 in.

 

 


 

 

working tables, 1991 - 2006
mixed media
variable dimensions

 

 

black kites, 1997

graphite on skull

8.5 x 5 x 6.25 in.

 

accelerated footballs, 2005
250 incised soccer balls

variable dimensions

 

carta blanca, 1999

rusty cans, beer labels, sand

variable dimensions
installation view of no. 91: gabriel orozco, portikus gallery, frankfurt, 1999

 

total perception, 2002
digital print
33.75 x 46.75 in.

 

 

cazuelas (beginnings), 2002
fired clay
variable dimensions

 

 

partial view of carlo scarpa's pensilina, made for the 26th venice biennale (1952), which served as the inspiration for shade between rings of air, which orozco presented at the 50th venice biennale (2003)

shade between rings of air, 2003
wood and metal
110.25  x 314.94 x 551.19 in.

 

 

mobile matrix, 2006

graphite on whale skeleton

77.19 x 428.75 x 104.75 in.

installation view at biblioteca vasconcelos, mexico city, 2006

 

mobile matrix, 2006

graphite on whale skeleton

77.19 x 428.75 x 104.75 in.

 

corteza de nopal con ojos de cristal, 2009

cactus, plastic eyes, pinewood base

variable dimensions

installation view of gabriel orozco, kurimanzutto, ciudad de méxico, 2009

 

 

 

brazos abiertos, 2009

cactus on pine wood base

110.91 x 117.64 x 43.31 in.

 

mapa estelar en árbol, 2009

graphite, calcium sulphate and animal glue on mango tree trunk

28.58 x 27.44 x 15.75 in.

 

solar graphite, 2006

graphite, calcium sulphate (plaster) and animal glue on cedar wood

21.85 x 21.85 in.

 

estructura tallada negra, 2009

graphite, calcium sulphate and animal glue on linen canvas
15.75 x 15.75 x 1.18 in.

 

 

samurai tree 6s, 2011

tempera and gold leaf on canvas

 

35.43 x 35.43 in.

 

samurai tree 1v, 2007

tempera and burnished gold leaf on linen canvas

29.53 x 29.53 x .98 in.

 

untitled (from the flag series), 2003

acrylic on cardboard

33.07 x 51.18 in.

 

installation view of the exhibition natural motion at the kunsthaus bregenz, austria, 2013

double axe, 2013

carved diorite river stone from the guerrero coast in mexico

8.66 x 16.14 x 10.43 in. 

 

turtle rock, 2013

carved diorite riverstone from the guerrero coast in mexico

4.33 x 11.81 x 11.81 in.

 

sleeping dog, 1990

silver dye bleach print

20 x 16 in.

 

my hands are my heart, 1991
two silver dye bleach prints
9.13 x 12.5 in each

 

 

my hand is the memory of space, 1991
wooden ice cream spoons
variable dimensions

 

 

island whithin an island, 1993
silver dye bleach print
16 x 20 in.

 

 

yielding stone, 1992
digital print
15.98 x 20 in.

 

 

extension of reflection, 1992
digital print
15.98 x 20 in.

 

 

crazy tourist, 1991
digital print
16 x 20 in.

 

 

 


 

 

cats and watermelons, 1992
digital print

16 x 20 in.

 

 

la ds, 1993
modified citroën
55.16 x 189.96 x 45.31 in.

 

 

pinched ball, 1993

silver dye bleach print

 

16 x 20 in.

 

home run, 1993

oranges 

variable dimensions

installation views of projects 41: gabriel orozco, museum of modern art, new york, 1993

 

 

 

empty shoe box, 1993
silver dye bleach print
16 x 20 in. 

 

 

 


 

 

from roof to roof, 1993
silver dye bleach print
16 x 20 in.

 

 

four bicycles (there is always one direction), 1994
bicycles
77.99 x 87.99 x 87.99 in.

 

 

elevator, 1994
modified elevator cabin

95.98 x 95.98 x 60 in.

 

horses running endlessley, 1995
wood
3.38 x 34.38 x 34.38 in.

 

 

 


 

 

atomists: aspirilla, 1996
digital print
78.75 x 115 in.

 

 

ping-pond table, 1998

modified ping-pong table, water lilies, soil, stones and water

30 x 167.75 x 167.75 in.

 

 


 

 

working tables, 1991 - 2006
mixed media
variable dimensions

 

 

black kites, 1997

graphite on skull

8.5 x 5 x 6.25 in.

 

accelerated footballs, 2005
250 incised soccer balls

variable dimensions

 

carta blanca, 1999

rusty cans, beer labels, sand

variable dimensions
installation view of no. 91: gabriel orozco, portikus gallery, frankfurt, 1999

 

total perception, 2002
digital print
33.75 x 46.75 in.

 

 

cazuelas (beginnings), 2002
fired clay
variable dimensions

 

 

partial view of carlo scarpa's pensilina, made for the 26th venice biennale (1952), which served as the inspiration for shade between rings of air, which orozco presented at the 50th venice biennale (2003)

shade between rings of air, 2003
wood and metal
110.25  x 314.94 x 551.19 in.

 

 

mobile matrix, 2006

graphite on whale skeleton

77.19 x 428.75 x 104.75 in.

installation view at biblioteca vasconcelos, mexico city, 2006

 

mobile matrix, 2006

graphite on whale skeleton

77.19 x 428.75 x 104.75 in.

 

corteza de nopal con ojos de cristal, 2009

cactus, plastic eyes, pinewood base

variable dimensions

installation view of gabriel orozco, kurimanzutto, ciudad de méxico, 2009

 

 

 

brazos abiertos, 2009

cactus on pine wood base

110.91 x 117.64 x 43.31 in.

 

mapa estelar en árbol, 2009

graphite, calcium sulphate and animal glue on mango tree trunk

28.58 x 27.44 x 15.75 in.

 

solar graphite, 2006

graphite, calcium sulphate (plaster) and animal glue on cedar wood

21.85 x 21.85 in.

 

estructura tallada negra, 2009

graphite, calcium sulphate and animal glue on linen canvas
15.75 x 15.75 x 1.18 in.

 

 

samurai tree 6s, 2011

tempera and gold leaf on canvas

 

35.43 x 35.43 in.

 

samurai tree 1v, 2007

tempera and burnished gold leaf on linen canvas

29.53 x 29.53 x .98 in.

 

untitled (from the flag series), 2003

acrylic on cardboard

33.07 x 51.18 in.

 

installation view of the exhibition natural motion at the kunsthaus bregenz, austria, 2013

double axe, 2013

carved diorite river stone from the guerrero coast in mexico

8.66 x 16.14 x 10.43 in. 

 

turtle rock, 2013

carved diorite riverstone from the guerrero coast in mexico

4.33 x 11.81 x 11.81 in.

 

notable solo exhibitions

notable solo exhibitions

Recent selected exhibitions include: Rotating Objects, The Noguchi Museum, New York (2019); Gabriel Orozco: veladoras arte universal, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes Cuba (2019); Gabriel Orozco, kurimanzutto, Mexico City (2017); Gabriel Orozco, Aspen Art Museum, United States (2016); Fleurs Fantômes, as part of the triennial commissions for the Chaumont castle at the Centre Val-de-Loire region, France (2014-2016); Gabriel Orozco – Inner Circles, MOT The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (2015); Natural Motion, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2013) and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2014); Thinking in Circles, The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland (2013); Gabriel Orozco: Asterisms, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2012) and Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013). From 2009 to 2011, his work was the object of an itinerant retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Kunstmuseum Basel; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and Tate Modern, London.

Other major solo exhibitions of Orozco's work have been shown at: Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City (2007); Palacio de Cristal del Retiro, Madrid (2005); Serpentine Gallery, London (2004); Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City (2000); The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, MOCA (2000); Philadelphia Museum of Art, United States (1999); Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, United States (1994); Museum of Modern Art, New York (1993).

In 2003, he curated the group exhibition Il Quotidiano Alterato as part of the 50th Venice Biennial. His work has been the subject of over 25 monographs in different languages.

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