29 September – 11 November 2006
White Cube Mason's Yard
White Cube presented the work of Gabriel Orozco in his first exhibition with the gallery. To launch White Cube’s new space at Mason’s Yard, Orozco developed his ongoing exploration of the readymade, mapping and geometry into a monumental new sculpture.
For his seminal work 'Black Kites' (1997), Orozco painstakingly drew a grid-like composition in graphite over the entire surface of a human skull, a vivid enactment of his phrase, 'volume made graphic, object made image'.
For his White Cube, Mason’s Yard exhibition, Orozco expanded the graphic and conceptual vocabulary that he explored in this work to create 'Dark Wave', a breathtaking sculpture that tests the interplay between object and space, image and form. Orozco mapped a geometric pattern, drawn in graphite, onto the skeleton of a 14-metre Rorqual whale. Taking a number of pivotal points across the skeleton, concentric circles have been inscribed on the surface, overlapping in areas to form intricate geometric patterns, which, for Orozco, describe 'the topography of the object'.
On the ground floor, a new group of paintings were presented. Part of the ongoing 'The Samurai Tree' series which was first launched at the Venice Biennale in 2005, the paintings examine the range of permutations possible within a (self-)defined spatial and colour system based on the ‘Knight’s move’ within a game of chess. In each, a circle is drawn in the centre, and moving out from this point, a sequence of increased or decreased circles is drawn, until they reach the limits of the square. Using a traditional method of gold leaf and tempera applied to cedar wood, the new paintings also reference the formal techniques used to make medieval icons.
Gabriel Orozco was born in 1962 in Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. He lives and works in New York, Paris and Mexico City. He has participated in numerous international group exhibitions, including the 50th and 51st Venice Biennale (2003 and 2005), Documenta X and XI, Kassel, Germany (1997 and 2002) and the Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, USA (1999). Recent solo exhibitions include the Palacio Cristal, Museo Nacional Centre de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2005), Serpentine Gallery, London (2004), Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC (2004), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2001), Museo Internacional Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City (2001) and Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (1999).
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.FULL PROFILE