Gabriel Orozco’s creative explorations in Japan take centre stage at London’s Marian Goodman Gallery
Globetrotting artist Gabriel Orozco lives and works between Paris, New York and Mexico City but the majority of his most recent works, currently on show at his new solo show at London’s Marian Goodman Gallery, were made during a residency in Japan. Indeed, it’s this nomadic lifestyle that has always provided the Mexican artist with inspiration, allowing him to immerse himself in foreign cultures and work across various mediums, exploring indigenous materials, objects and crafts.
During his time in Japan, Orozco crafted wooden totemic sculptures made from found materials and created 28 collages on traditional scrolls constructed from intricately woven silks. Particularly interested in appropriating components with a former functionality, the materials Orozco used in these latest works are ubiquitously Japanese; the silk fabrics were originally used for the sashes or obi wrapped around the waist of the kimono in traditional Japanese dress, while the totems are comprised of collected packaging materials and other fragments of urban Tokyo.
At a lecture in Mexico City in 2001, Orozco offered this explanation, ’It is important to understand where these materials came from, what they were designed for and how I try to give their intrinsic structure a new way of functioning, metaphoric on the one hand, but also utilitarian and in some way real. To continue and extend the possibilities of the historical and mythic content of those objects and not just their mechanical structure.’
As well as the scrolls and sculptures the London exhibition will showcase new drawings and photographs taken by Orozco on his iPhone - a medium that allows him to capture fleeting moments and chance encounters on his travels - as well as a newly commissioned text, entitled ’Wrappings’, by Briony Fer that discusses the work.