At first glance, Jorge Pardo's huge oval-shaped mirrors that are currently lining the walls of London's David Gill Gallery look as if they are framed by abstract flowers made up of concentric circles. However on closer inspection, the outline of each swirling pattern can be identified as the cross section of a skull.
Cut on a CNC router, the cerebral head scans each belong to a writer or thinker admired by the Havana-born artist. Among the anonymous portraits are Hal Foster, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, food writer Jonathan Gold, and the great art critic of the modernist era, Clement Greenberg.
A series of cabinets and tables featuring portraits of the artist and his family are displayed alongside the mirrors. 'I thought it would be interesting if this show took on the role of a convoluted portraiture machine with all the works having different forms of portraits,' says Pardo. 'The mirrors are portraits of critics, the furniture with portraiture of my family and the tables will have images of me. Some of the furniture will also hang from the wall like paintings.'
The 12 mirrors, each measuring 274cm in height, feature a constellation of 12 heads that amplify the natural irregularities in the shape of the skull. 'The patterns are random,' says Pardo. 'When I work with patterns and colour my interest is density of irregularity. It's a simple system, which is really not much of a system: I choose a shape to disperse colour and any combinations of colour work.'
‘Meretricious’ is on view until 11 November
David Gill Gallery
2–4 King Street
London, SW1Y 6QP
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