Gabriel Orozco, Mexican (1962 - )

Gabriel Orozco was born in Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico in 1962 and studied at the Escuela Nacional de Arte Plasticas in Mexico City, and at the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Spain. An avid traveler, Gabriel Orozco uses the urban landscape and the everyday objects found within it to twist conventional notions of reality and engage the imagination of the viewer. Orozco’s interest in complex geometry and mapping find expression in works like the patterned human skull of "Black Kites", the curvilinear logic of "Oval Billiard Table", and the extended playing field of the chessboard in "Horses Running Endlessly".

He considers philosophical problems, such as the concept of infinity, and evokes them in humble moments, as in the photograph "Pinched Ball", which depicts a deflated soccer ball filled with water. Matching his passion for political engagement with the poetry of chance encounters, Orozco’s photographs, sculptures, and installations propose a distinctive model for the ways in which artists can affect the world with their work. Orozco was featured at Documenta XI (2002), where his sensuous terra-cotta works explored the elegance and logic of traditional ceramics—a pointed commentary on Mexican craft and its place in a ‘high art’ gallery space. Orozco has shown his work at distinguished venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Venice Biennale. A major retrospective of Orozco’s work was assembled at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 2000, and traveled to the Museo Internacional Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, and the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Monterey, Mexico. Gabriel Orozco lives and works in New York, Paris, and Mexico City.

Orozco takes his cues from ordinary, often urban, settings and from found or industrially fabricated materials. A rubber inner tube, a ball of plasticine, a tin of cat food, or the cap of a yogurt container are subtly transformed in Orozco's hands. With modest materials in unexpected combinations, he creates significant objects that celebrate the discarded and mundane in contemporary life.

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