[June 12 2015]
Gabriel Orozco’s latest show was inspired by the past six months the Mexican artist has spent living in Japan. In it, he presented an artful interweaving of his own practice with a reverent interest in traditional Japanese culture. The gallery’s ground floor space was lined with short wooden staves and poles propped against the walls, all in regulation dimensions for the country’s building industry, their small sizes pointedly contrasting with the open gallery space. Abandoning an early whitewash approach he covered and bound the wooden rods with adhesive tape in geometric patterns and blocks of color.
This concept of packaging (an interest Orozco linked to the lightness and portability running throughout Japanese art and design) was key to another of the show’s main focuses. His silk collages used traditional kimono fabric he found in old shops, and were presented bound on traditional scrolls. The material was cut into circles, with the fine details hidden on the reverse used to create graphic effects. Orozco showed them off both hanging and, along with master scrollmaker Tatsuo Ooiri, neatly rolled up in wooden boxes, ready to be stored away like traditional seasonal artworks. The artist also examined his usual preoccupation with patterned circles on canvas, with red, blue, and gold motifs appearing on larger white works in the upper gallery.
Text Jethro Turner and photo Clovis Bataille