Damián Ortega

Skin. L’Unité D’Habitation à Berlin, 1956-1958, Le Corbusier, Berlin, Germany


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Part of
Leather, thread, tattoo ink, pencil on paper and board
Overall display dimensions variable
Presented by the American Fund for the Tate Gallery, courtesy of the Latin American Acquisitions Committee, Alin Ryan von Buch, Luiz Augusto Teixeira de Freitas, Tiqui Atencio Demirdjian and Ago Demirdjian 2007, accessioned 2016
On long term loan

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Ortega’s Skin works belong to a series of sculptures based on modernist residential architecture. Using natural cow leather, he has replicated floor plans of apartments in the Przyczolek Grochowski Estate in Warsaw by Oskar Hansen, Mexico City’s Urban Center President Alemán by architect Mario Pani, and Le Corbusier’s L’Unité d’Habitation in Berlin. The resulting cut-outs are installed as soft hanging sculptures. These residential projects were conceived to replace existing ineffective metropolitan housing with linear, egalitarian structures. Ortega’s malleable figures focus on the formal qualities of the buildings rather than their functional and social aspects and offer a gentle critique of modernism’s promise to transform human settlement.

Gallery label, April 2008