This retrospective of the leading Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco (b 1962) is the largest presentation of his most critically acclaimed works in the UK. The exhibition by Gabriel Orozco is on display until April 11, 2011 at the Tate
Modern. A sculptor of global significance, Orozco draws on the histories of western and Latin American art practice with limitless innovation and experimentation. Featuring over 80 works, and a new installation never previously exhibited, the survey highlights Orozcos substantial production of sculpture, photography, drawing and painting.
Orozco has become renowned for his boundless experimentation with found objects, both natural and man made, which he subtly and playfully alters. The exhibition features major early examples of this practice, including La DS 1993, a classic Citroën DS car which the artist sliced into thirds, removing the central part to exaggerate its streamlined, aerodynamic design. Black Kites1997, a human skull upon which Orozco drew a dense geometric checkerboard pattern, is another highlight of the show. Taking a structured flat grid and superimposing it over the contours of an irregular three-dimensional surface, this work shows Orozcos fascination with combining the systematic and the organic. Other sculptures investigate the orderly structures of game playing, as in Horses Running Endlessly 1995, a chess set consisting entirely of knights.
Orozcos work has been particularly informed by his extensive travels and his relationship to the various places he lives, including Mexico City, Costa Rica, Brazil, New York, and Paris. The exhibition shows how these diverse sources, resulting from an itinerant life, are reflected in the past 25 years of his work. In Yielding Stone 1992, Orozco created a plasticine ball, equal to his weight, and pushed it through the streets of New York. The sculpture became slowly imprinted by the journey and gathered detritus from the city, its surface containing the memory of its movements.
Using objects found in urban settings or capturing chance encounters, Orozco manages to simultaneously encapsulate the pleasure of witnessing life and its frail significance. A range of photography is included which captures the poetry of fleeting moments, from ripples in a puddle to the condensation of breath on a piano.