Gabriel Orozco at the Marian Goodman Gallery
A palpable freshness permeates this exhibition of recent work from Mexico’s Gabriel Orozco; this new direction results largely from a residency in Tokyo earlier this year. As well as being granted an audience with the artist himself, guests at a preview had the opportunity to meet Mr Tatsuo Ooiri, the Tokyo craftsman with whom Orozco collaborated. The artist’s established reverence for his materials translates perfectly to the formal, traditional style in these silk wall hangings. Each piece is made strange, on closer inspection, by the arrangement of precisely cut appliquéd sections, which interrupt the original woven design of the silk, often with its negative-image rear side facing the viewer. Most commonly, it is intersecting and concentric circular forms – an Orozco trademark that perhaps most ties this whole collection together – that disrupt the ornate patterns. Introducing the works, Orozco demonstrates how inspiration was drawn from the traditional packing materials, ornate in their precise functionality, in which the scrolls made the journey from Tokyo.
The lower front rooms of the gallery are given over to an installation, Untitled, 2015, comprising a series of wooden staves (some square, others cylindrical, all embellished with a mixture of applied media), rendering geometric designs onto the raw wood. As so often with Orozco’s work, formulation and setting play key roles in the overall effect: the poppy boldness of the individual designs knowingly contrasts with both the intrinsic fragility of slender, widely-spaced poles, and with the slight graphite markings made upon the wood in planning them.
Upstairs there is more bold exploration of colour, this time specifically of white, red, blue, and burnished gold leaf – the regimented palette that Orozco has been experimenting with through starkly graphical paintings on canvas for over a decade. These most recent statements on the theme chart the evolution of those intersecting circle motifs into exploded, grid-like formations, with the spring sunshine through the gallery’s glazed roof conspiring to bring out the white, dazzling backgrounds, and sear the vivid forms into the mind’s eye.
Circular motifs (such as the foamy disc of toothpaste visible through draining a hotel room sink) continue within a selection of prints from Orozco’s impromptu iPhone photography, rounding out an exhibition that laudably combines an impressive range of medium and approach with a unique and distinct overarching vision.
Photos: Stuart Boyland
Gabriel Orozco is at the Marian Goodman Gallery from 13th June until 7th August 2015, for further information visit here.