Gabriel Orozco’s diverse practice, which includes sculpture, photography, painting and video, explores philosophical conundrums through random encounters and spatial relationships. Using everyday objects in the contemporary urban environment, Orozco makes visible the poetry of chance connections, whimsy and paradox. He works with found materials or situations – a ball of clay, a deflated football, or an abandoned kite, for example – that are altered and then photographed to create surprising, often humorous scenarios from their simple, quotidian means.
Orozco's fascination with providing new ways of looking at the seemingly familiar is perhaps most famously shown in his work La DS. (1993). Here, Orozco meticulously cut a Citroën DS car into thirds, removed the central section, then put the remaining sections back together, creating an elongated version of the original that serves to exaggerate its famously streamlined design.
His interest in mapping and geometry is made evident in works such as The Atomists, a series of sporting images cut from newspapers, overlaid with coloured ellipses and spheres, forms that are an essential part of Orozco’s artistic lexicon. More recently, in his paintings, Orozco has explored the phenomenology of structures, in which the symbol of the circle acts as a bridge between geometry and organic matter, and the sequencing of colour is based on the principles of movement within a game of chess. The recurring motif of the circle has been further explored in the sculptural drawing Dark Wave – a full-scale replica of a 14m whale skeleton – onto which Orozco traced in graphite the mammal’s pulse points, essentially marking the “topography of the object”.
Gabriel Orozco was born in 1962 in Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico and lives and works in New York, Paris and Mexico City. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions including the Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (1999), Documenta XI, Kassel (2002), the 50th and 51st Venice Biennale (2003 and 2005), the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (2007), MUAC, Mexico (2008), Museu da Cidade, Lisbon, the Powerplant, Toronto (2009), the Art Institute of Chicago (2010) and the 11th Havana Biennial, Cuba (2012).
Solo exhibitions include Portikus, Frankfurt am Main (1999), Museo Internacional Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City (2001), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2001), Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC (2004), Serpentine Gallery, London (2004), Palacio Cristal, Museo Nacional Centre de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2005), Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, (2006), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2009), Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel (2010), Tate Modern, London (2011), Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2012), Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz and the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2013).