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The Art of Gabriel Orozco at MoMA: Range, Power and Beauty 2020

| November 4, 2020 | 0 Comments
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The Art of Gabriel Orozco at MoMA: Range, Power and Beauty
Black Kites. 1997 Graphite on skull.
Photography courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery,
New York

The mid-career retrospective of Mexican contemporary artist Gabriel Orozco at the Museum of Modern Art has been drawing rave reviews. Orozco emerged as a rising star in the contemporary art world in the 1990s, and his trajectory continues upward. He may be the preeminent  Latin American artist working today. He may be even more.

The M0MA show features work from throughout the past two decades of Orozco’s practice, and includes some of the signature pieces that have earned him growing international acclaim. There is “La DS”, a gleaming Citroën DS sports car perfectly reassembled with the middle one-third removed. There is “Black Kites,” a human skull meticulously etched with a black-and-white checkerboard pattern. And dominating the show and the MoMA atrium there is “Mobile Matrix”: a suspended 35-foot whale skeleton fully assembled on a metal frame and inscribed from nose to tail with graphite circles–a procedure which required a team of 20 assistants and 6,000 pencil leads.

From “Empty Shoebox”, a 1993 piece that is exactly what its title says it is–a box sitting on the floor–to his most recent abstract paintings, Orozco has made a career out of defying expectations. In his work art is rendered non-art (as in the shoe box), design is rendered nonfunctional, and the ordinary is made surreal.

Mobile Matrix 300x150 1
Mobile Matrix. Photo courtesy Art21

Whether or not it’s all serious-minded mockery of global capitalism, as some would have it, Orozco has produced a body of work that resonates deeply with both casual viewers and critics. New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl writes that for anyone who has not been following developments in contemporary art over the past 20 years, the Orozco show is “a one-stop chance to catch up on the good parts.” Schjeldahl writes that Orozco is “the one artist of his ilk and time who stands up to really rigorous scrutiny…and justifies the effort by being delightful.”

Gabriel Orozco at MoMA will be on view through March 1, 2010.

HorsesRunningEndlessly
Horses Running Endlessly, 1995. © All rights reserved Gabriel Orozco 2009
KytesTree1
Kytes Tree, 2005. © All rights reserved Gabriel Orozco 2009.
LaDS
La DS. 1993 © All rights reserved Gabriel Orozco 2009

In his work art is rendered non-art (as in the shoe box), design is rendered nonfunctional, and the ordinary is made surreal.

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