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Lot 6: Gabriel Orozco (b. 1962)
The Refco Collection of Contemporary Photographs
May 5, 2006
New York, NY, USA
Atomists: Making Strides
computer generated plastic-coated print on paper sheets mounted on two aluminum panels
each: 78 1/2 x 39 in. (199.5 x 99 cm.)
overall: 78 1/2 x 78 in. (199.5 x 198 cm.)
Executed in 1996. This work is number one from an edition of three.
The work of Mexican-born Gabriel Orozco is unbound by medium or formal consistency; encompassing photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, video, and performance. This large, computer-generated color print had its genesis in a British newspaper: for his series Atomists, Gabriel Orozco collected clippings about soccer and cricket from the London Times, blew them up, and peppered them with geometric overlays. In Making Strides, the round and ovoid forms, halved and quartered, might be greatly enlarged individual photographic pixels. Colored circles and ellipses are recurring motifs in Orozco's captivatingly disparate oeuvre. Here, their static, hard-edge abstraction coexists in a precarious yet harmonious balance with the representational, matter-of-fact nature of sports photojournalism. Orozco seamlessly melds the throwaway impermanence of the daily newspaper with the weighty history of abstract painting. While the orbs partially obscure the photograph, they also serve to activate a dynamic structure: their vertical and horizontal axes seem to stabilize the contrapposto form of the animated athlete, and their circularity offsets the horizontal bands in the grass field on which he competes.
Orozco traffics in the serendipity of coincidence, often investing ordinary, unremarkable source material with renewed significance and surprising meaning. He rolled a ball of gummy plasticene through downtown Manhattan, collecting dirt and grime; he photographed his own exhalation of breath on the gleaming surface of a piano; he constructed a ping pong table with a lily pond at its center. The artist states that his goal is to "activate the space between the sign and the spectator or a third person who is perceiving that space.That's 'the' question that I'm asking somehow" (quoted in Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, "Benjamin Buchloh Interviews Gabriel Orozco," Clinton is Innocent, Paris, 1998, p. 43).
Provenance: Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
Artist or Maker: Gabriel Orozco (b. 1962)
London, 50 St. James's Street, Gabriel Orozco Empty Club, June-July 1996, p. 36 (illustrated; another example exhibited).
Los Angeles, The Museum of Contemporary Art; Mexico City, Museo Internacional Rufino Tamayo and Museo d'Arte Contemporaneo de Monterrey, Gabriel Orozco, June 2000-May 2001, p. 146 (illustrated; another example exhibited).