1962, Jalapa, Mexico
‘During the 1990s, Gabriel Orozco developed a solid body of work - both in the precise and concise way he dealt with his subject matters and for these subjects themselves: rare and powerful. Thus, his reputation as an artist with an acute puissance for the formal was rapidly established; as well as his bold and innovative understanding of the limits of sculpture - a bordering notion in which sculpture is reduced to its more immediate expression, left, at times, on the verge of extinction.’
- María Minera, Mexican art critic
Working through drawing, photography, sculpture and installation, Orozco draws from everyday materials and circumstances from his own encounters and routines. Playing with ideas of accessibility, his work revolves around recurrent themes and explores materials with multiplicity that allows the viewer’s imagination to discover creative associations between aspects of everyday life often overlooked or ignored. From the beginning of his career, Orozco’s nomadic lifestyle effected both the production and aesthetic of his work. His lack of a primary ‘home base’ lent a more fluid aspect to his production, allowing for the growth of a rich heteronomy of materials and themes marked by a conceptual openness to spontaneity and circumstance. Although it might be difficult to describe Orozco’s work in terms of a physical outcome – the artist has more of an interest in questions rather than statements, and emphasizes the potential within mutating materials, forms and meanings.
Gabriel Orozco was born in Jalapa in the Mexican state of Veracruz, to an artistic left-wing family that moved to Mexico City during his childhood. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, UNAM (1981-1984) and at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid (1986-1987). From 1987 to 1992, he led the Taller de los viernes (Friday Workshop), at his home in Tlalpan, which became a nexus of discussion and artistic production to which Abraham Cruzvillegas, Gabriel Kuri, Dr. Lakra and Damián Ortega all participated.
Gabriel Orozco has been the recipient of many awards, including: the REDCAT Award by REDCAT CalArts' downtown center for contemporary arts, Los Angeles (2015); Cultural Achievement Award granted by The Americas Society (2014); he was decorated as an officier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture (2012); and received the Blauorange Kunstpreis granted by the Deutsche Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbankende (2006).
Gabriel Orozco lives and works in Tokyo, Mexico City, New York and Paris.
Recent selected exhibitions include: Rotating Objects, The Noguchi Museum, New York (2019); Gabriel Orozco: veladoras arte universal, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes Cuba (2019); Gabriel Orozco, kurimanzutto, Mexico City (2017); Gabriel Orozco, Aspen Art Museum, United States (2016); Fleurs Fantômes, as part of the triennial commissions for the Chaumont castle at the Centre Val-de-Loire region, France (2014-2016); Gabriel Orozco – Inner Circles, MOT The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (2015); Natural Motion, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2013) and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2014); Thinking in Circles, The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland (2013); Gabriel Orozco: Asterisms, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2012) and Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013). From 2009 to 2011, his work was the object of an itinerant retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Kunstmuseum Basel; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and Tate Modern, London.
Other major solo exhibitions of Orozco's work have been shown at: Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City (2007); Palacio de Cristal del Retiro, Madrid (2005); Serpentine Gallery, London (2004); Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City (2000); The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, MOCA (2000); Philadelphia Museum of Art, United States (1999); Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, United States (1994); Museum of Modern Art, New York (1993).
In 2003, he curated the group exhibition Il Quotidiano Alterato as part of the 50th Venice Biennial. His work has been the subject of over 25 monographs in different languages.