Artist biography

Mexican sculptor, photographer and video artist. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City (1981–4) and at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid (1986–7). In 1995 he worked in Berlin on a Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (DAAD) grant. The strategy of reframing found objects (often as banal as pieces of fruit) is central to Orozco's work, providing a connection between public and private spheres. This reframing is usually based on formal alignment or coincidence. His negotiation of private and public spaces, and his exploration of the relationship between centres and peripheries, continued in an exhibition commissioned jointly by Artangel and Beck's, Empty Club (1996), which was staged in the temporarily vacant Devonshire Club in St James', London. Included in this were a series of large-scale computer prints called The Atomist, comprising action pictures of sporting events taken from British newspapers overlaid with geometric spheres and ovals. Situating these manipulated images of individual achievement in the empty club rooms, Orozco drew parallels with the ancient Greek concept of Atomism, which posited matter as constituted by atoms in motion rather than solid substance. The world view that this implies, based on cyclical motion rather than linear stasis, formed the central theme of the exhibition. Orozco's use of graphics and photography in The Atomist is also reminiscent of the work of Rodchenko and Russian Constructivism, suggesting a comparable worldview based on a combination of movement and rest.

Bibliography
Gabriel Orozco (exh. cat. by B. Buchloh, Zurich, Ksthalle, 1996)
Gabriel Orozco: Empty Club (exh. cat., London, Artangel, 1996)
Gabriel Orozco (exh. cat., Paris, Mus. A. Mod. Ville Paris, 1998)

JOHN-PAUL STONARD
10 December 2000

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