Gabriel Orozco

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Mis Manos Son Mi Corazón, 1991

Gabriel Orozco (born 1962) is a Mexican artist, called "one of the most influential artists of this decade, and probably the next one too."[1] He was born in Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico and educated in the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas between 1981 and 1984. He then continued his education in Madrid at the Circulo de Bellas Artes between 1986 and 1987. A constant world traveler since 1991, Orozco and wife Maria Gutierrez, along with their son Simón, divide their time between Paris, New York and Mexico City.

Gabriel Orozco practically invented today's genre of globe-trotting artist. But Orozco's at-home-everywhere-and-nowhere persona is less a stylish pose than an extension of his artistic project: a fusion of post-Minimalism's concern for site-specificity and Conceptual art's reliance on the portable photographic document.

Margaret Sundell, Artforum, 2004

Orozco is considered "the leading conceptual and installational artist of his generation."[2] Orozco's exploration of the use of video, drawings, and installations in addition to his photographs and sculptures, allows the audience's imagination to explore the creative associations between oft-ignored objects in today's world. His work permits a rarely allowed interaction between the artwork and the audience. For instance, visitors at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, California could play a four person game of table tennis on Orozco's Ping Pond Table (1998). The work's center is a lily pond with four hemispherical ping pong table pieces arranged in a clover shape around it. At his exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1993, Orozco's Home Run piece featured oranges placed in the windows of adjacent apartment buildings. For the 1993 Venice Biennale Orozco placed a shoe box on the floor of the Aperto. “What is most important is not so much what people see in the gallery or the museum, but what people see after looking at these things, how they confront reality again”. - Gabriel Orozco from an interview with Benjamin H. D. Buchloh in the catalogue Gabriel Orozco: Clinton is Innocent. Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

Orozco has participated in the Venice Biennale in 1993, 2003, and 2005, the Whitney Biennial (1995 and 1997), as well as Documenta X (1997) and Documenta XI (2002). He has received numerous awards, including the Seccio Espacios Alternativos prize at the Salon Nacional de Artes Plasticas in Mexico City (1987), a DAAD artist-in-residence grant in Berlin (1995), and the German Blue Orange prize (2006).

The foundational paradox of Orozco's sculpture is then that unlike the work of many of his generational peers, it has defined itself from its very beginning as suspended between outright negation, if not self-destruction, and the contemplation of sculpture's precariously continued subsistence in the twentieth century - between the absolute necessity of the subject's artisanal presence in the process of sculptural production and the simultaneous dictate of an absolute prohibition of the hand."

Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, "30/40, A Selection of Forty Artists from Thirty Years at Marian Goodman Gallery."


[edit] Works

La DS, 1993
  • La D.S. is one of Orozco's largest works; a silver Citroën DS was sliced into three pieces lengthwise. The middle section was removed and the two remaining pieces were fastened together, forming an arrow-like car with a width 63.5 cm (25 inches) less than the original. Visitors may sit in the new vehicle and the doors and trunk can be opened though it was not made to drive.
  • The 1994 sound piece, Ligne d'abandon based on the screeching sound of a car wheel, made in collaboration with Manuel Rocha Iturbide at Galerie Chantal Crousel in Paris.
  • The 1996 creation, Oval with Pendulum is a small round pocket-less billiards table with a suspended ball.
  • Yielding Stone is a large ball of plasticine (modeling clay) that was rolled down city streets in 1992, making impressions in the ball and collecting various debris. The ball ultimately weighed as much as Orozco himself.
  • Extension of Reflection (1992) is a photograph of ripples from a bike passing through a puddle. It exemplifies the typical pictures Orozco takes: those that focus on chance and fleeting events.
  • Breath on Piano (1993) is another such picture, capturing the fog from Orozco's breathing.
  • Mis Manos son mi Corazón (1991) is a set of two photographs of the torso of a bare-chested Orozco. The first depicts him squeezing his hands around a ball of clay; the second shows him unfolding his hands and the resulting heart-shaped clay form is held in front of his chest.
  • Horses Running Endlessly is an enlarged chess field of 256 square tiles. Knights of four distinct colors are arranged around the board.

[edit] Exhibitions

Gabriel Orozco is represented by Marian Goodman Gallery in New York, Galerie Chantal Crousel in Paris, and Galeria Kurimanzutto in Mexico City.

He has had solo exhibitions at the following museums:


  • Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany


  • Palacio de Cristal, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain


  • Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C.
  • Serpentine Gallery, London, U.K.


  • The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California
  • Museo Internacional Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City
  • Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico


  • Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • Centre pour l’Image Contemporaine, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


  • St. Louis Museum of Art, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Centro Fotográfico Alvarez Bravo, Oaxaca, Mexico
  • ARC/Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France


  • Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


  • Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Institute of Contemporary Art, London, England


  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois


  • Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York

[edit] Bibliography



  • Gabriel Orozco. Guillermo Santamarina and Marta González Orbegozo. Madrid, Spain: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, 2005.
  • Textos sobre la obra de Gabriel Orozco. Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Ann Temkin, Guy Brett, Jean Fisher, James Lingwood, Mark Haworth-Booth, Francesco Bonami, Molly Nesbit, and Daniel Birnbaum. Mexico City, Mexico: Conaculta / Turner Publicaciones, 2005.


  • Gabriel Orozco. Briony Fer, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh and Rochelle Steiner. London, England: Serpentine Gallery, 2004.
  • Gabriel Orozco: Photographs. Phyllis D. Rosenzweig and Mia Fineman. Washington, D.C.: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden / Gottengin, Germany: Steidl Publishers, 2004.


  • Gabriel Orozco. João Miguel Fernandes Jorge. Coimbra, Portugal: El Centro de Artes Visuais, 2003.
  • Gabriel Orozco: Trabajo. Galerie Chantal Crousel. Cologne, Germany and Paris, France: Galerie Chantal Crousel, 2003.
  • Of Games, the Infinite and Worlds: The Work of Gabriel Orozco. González, Miguel Virgen, and John Hutchinson. Dublin: Ireland: The Douglas Hyde Gallery, 2003.


  • Gabriel Orozco: From Green Glass to Airplane Recordings. Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen and Gijs Stork. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Stedelijk Museum / Artimo Foundation, 2001.


  • Gabriel Orozco. Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, and Alma Ruiz. Los Angeles, California: The Museum of Contemporary Art, 2000.
  • Gabriel Orozco [Postcard Book]. Los Angeles, California: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2000.


  • Gabriel Orozco: Chacahua. Daniel Birnbaum. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Portikus, 1999.
  • Photogravity. Ann Temkin. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1999.


  • Gabriel Orozco: Clinton is Innocent. Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Paris, France: Paris Musées, 1998.


  • Empty Club. James Lingwood, Jean Fisher, Mark Haworth-Booth and Guy Brett. London, England: Artangel, 1996.
  • Gabriel Orozco. Bernhard Bürgi, Bettina Marbach and Benjamin H. D. Buchloh. Zürich, Switzerland: Kunsthalle Zürich, 1996.


  • Cocido Y Crudo. Balseiro, Maria Luisa and Martin Smith. Madrid, Spain: Museo Nacional

Centro de Arte Reina Sofiá:, 1995: 146-147, 262-263.

  • Options 47: Gabriel Orozco. Chicago, Illinois: Museum of Contemporary Art, 1994.


  • Gabriel Orozco. Benjamin H D Buchloh. Kortrijk, Belgium: The Kanaal Art Foundation in association with La Vaca Independiente, 1993.
  • Gabriel Orozco: Projects 41. New York, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1993.
  • Gabriel Orozco and Manuel Rocha Iturbide: Galerie Chantal Crousel. Paris, France.

[edit] Filmography

"Art:21 Film on Gabriel Orozco," 2003

"Gabriel Orozco," 2002, Directed by Juan Carlos Martin with music by Manuel Rocha Iturbide

[edit] Hobbies

Gabriel Orozco has been a big fan of football (soccer) since he was a youth in Mexico City. Many of his works are related to this popular sport in Mexico. He currently plays in the Adecmac soccer league in Mexico City for the team Club Deportivo Sahara Español.

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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