9 July–23 October 2016
Damián Ortega has made new sculptures for the Fruitmarket Gallery’s summer exhibition focusing on the forces of nature. The works look at how wind, water, earth and fire act on the earth both independently of and in relationship to humankind.
The works in this solo exhibition – his first in Scotland – are predominantly made from clay, the most elemental of materials. Ortega uses clay to form waves, sculpt icebergs and to track the eroding power of a river on a sequence of plains made from brick. He shows us the sculptural agency of nature and also of mankind, looking at how the landscape has shaped itself but also at how mankind’s attempts to harness the land to our own purpose have played a part in the state of the world now.
A major new sculpture presents a bewildering array of tools, made from seemingly unfired clay and laid out on tables as if they had just been unearthed in an archaeological dig. The tools move from the most ‘primitive’ to the most ‘sophisticated’, from representations of flint arrowheads to clay facsimiles of mobile phones in a work that is both a celebration of the skill that sets us apart from other animals and a visual history of our exploitation of the natural world.
The Fruitmarket Gallery
45 Market Street
+44 (0) 131 225 2383
Damián Ortega 'Eroded valley' (detail) (2016)
Courtesy of the artist’s studio
Photo: Gerardo Landa Rojano