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Born in Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, in 1962.
Lives and works in Tokyo, Mexico City and New York.
Gabriel Orozco has emerged from the early 1990s as one of the most important artists of his generation.
Constantly on the move, without a studio set, he rejects the national or regional identifications, and draws inspiration from the places where he lives and travel, through photography, sculpture, painting and video.
As the art historian and art critic Briony Fer writes: “Gabriel Orozco makes his work out of where he lives, using local materials and often drawing on traditional artisanal practices but of course art can – and often has - been made in one place but out of another, that is, in imaginary as well as actual dialogues with its own origins. In one sense Orozco continues to animate precisely this entanglement of circumstance and movement. His methods are much more informal – inclining always to the partial and incomplete – than that of an atlas that aims systematically to document a whole world of images. It’s maybe more like a travel notebook of a life (his own), but one that records the circumstantial conditions of life along with the everyday living of it as he moves between different locations. The relationship of his work to place remains porous, exposing a distinctive formal procedure to multiple global image-circuits and economies, pictorial and otherwise. ».
His work is characterized by a strong interest in the urban landscape and the human body. Incidents of everyday life and familiar, whose poetry is that of chance and paradox, feed his work. The boundaries between the art object and the everyday environment are deliberately blurred, art and reality deliberately mixed. The movement, expansion, circularity, the relationship between geometric and organic, are constants that have animated his artistic research for over twenty years.
About the recent body of works from the series Fleurs Fantômes, Briony Fer continues: “In a project from 2014, Orozco took photographs of fragments of the ruined and faded wallpapers of the Chateau de Chaumont-sur-Loire. He then reproduced them using a machine originally designed in the 1970s to produce large-scale advertising billboards, but soon obsolete and a little bit like an archaic ink-jet printer. The so-called Fleurs Fantômes compound several supposedly incongruent elements to create fleeting and evanescent impressions. Eroded, stained patches of colour are reminiscent on the one hand of his Color Travels Through Flowers (1998), and on the other, perhaps more surprisingly and certainly more enigmatically, the graphites which are, among other things, also dark containers for passing light impressions.”*
Gabriel Orozco is a recipient of the Cultural Achievement Award (2014); The Americas Society (2014) and is also Officer of the Order of Arts ans letters (2012).
He has had major solo exhibitions at The Noguchi Museum, Long Island City (2019); XIII Bienal de la Habana, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana (2019); Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (2015); Aspen Art Museum (2015); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2014); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2013); Tate Modern, London (2011); Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2010); Kunstmuseum, Basel (2010); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2009); Museo Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City (2006); Museum Ludwig, Koln (2006); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington (2005); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2000); Philadelphia Museum of Art (1999); Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (1998), among others.
In 2019, Gabriel Orozco was chosen to orchestrate the transformation of Chapultepec Park in Mexico City into a nerve center at the crossroads of art, culture, and nature.
Gabriel Orozco was also featured in several international group shows: MCA Chicago (2020); MAXXI, Rome (2018); Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2018); Seattle Art Museum (2017); Centre Pompidou — Metz (2017); Giardini Arsenal, 57th Venice Biennale (2017); Yokohama Museum of Art (2016); Philadelphia Museum of Art (2015); 10th Gwangju Biennale (2014); Guggenheim Museum, New York (2014); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City (2011); The Power Plant, Toronto (2009); Bass Museum of Art, Miami, (2009); Fundación PROA, Buenos Aires (2009); Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, (2008); Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (2009); FRAC Ile-de-France — Le Plateau (2008); Kunsthalle wien, Vienna (2007); The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2006); Venice Biennial, Italian Pavilion (2005); Museum Ludwig, Köln (2005); Tate Modern, London (2006); Documenta 11, Kassel (2002).
His works have joined the collections of the Dallas Museum of Art; FRAC Normandie - Rouen; Carré d'art, Nîmes; Musée d'art moderne de Paris; Kunstmuseum Basel; Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum Of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art; Whitney Museum, New York; Colección Jumex, Mexico; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; Fundación Botín, Cantabria; Long Museum West Bund, Shanghai; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
*The texts by Briony Fer here quoted are taken from the press release written on the occasion of Gabriel Orozco's sixth solo exhibition at the gallery in 2017.