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Lot 9: Gabriel Orozco (b. 1962)

Post-War & Contemporary Art (Evening Sale)

by Christie's

June 23, 2005

London, United Kingdom

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Description: Horses Running Endlessly
board: 3/4 x 34 1/2 x 34 1/2 in. (2 x 88 x 88cm.)
64 knights each: 3 1/2 x 1 1/4 x 1 1/4 in. (9 x 3 x 3cm.)
Executed in 1995, this work is an artist proof from an edition of three plus one artist proof


Whether spitting toothpaste onto graph-paper, painting molecular-like semi-circles onto banknotes and photographs or mapping a checkerboard of distorted graphite squares over the surface of a human skull, a pervasive theme of much of Gabriel Orozco's art is the disruption of the grid. The grid is one of the most elemental and basic patterns of regular form. It is symbolic of logical thought and of mathematical progression. Its disruption by the interspersion of alternative but equally logical graphic systems (such as his atomist circle drawings) or supposedly random patterns (such as spat toothpaste for example) drawn from real life, translates his art into an open form game.

Horses Running Endlessly can in many ways be considered a physical manifestation, in game form, of this tendency in his art. A modified chessboard of 256 squares consisting of four rather than two different colours, Orozco's game also consists solely of knights (or horses). In chess, the knight has the strangest and most complex of moves moving in a single move a combination of one square forward and two to the side or alternatively two squares forward and one to the side. This makes the knight the only chess piece able to hop over the other pieces, to, theoretically at least, leave the two dimensionality of the grid, while manoeuvring within its structure and the structure of the game.

In Horses Running Endlessly Orozco has translated the laws and physical form of chess into a new open and potentially endless game that, strangely mixing the image of horses and the grid, both reflects and demonstrates the whimsical deconstructive logic at the heart of his art.

VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price plus buyer's premium.

Provenance: Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

Artist or Maker: Gabriel Orozco (b. 1962)

Literature: C. de Zegher, "The Os of Orozco", in: Parkett no. 48, Zurich 1996, p. 59 (detail illustrated).
J.P. Criqui, "Like a Rolling Stone Gabriel Orozco", in: Art Forum, XXXIV, no. 8, April 1996, p. 50 and summary (illustrated).
J. Lingwood, Gabriel Orozco Empty Club, London 1996, p. 22 (illustrated).
R. Storr, "Gabriel Orozco The Power to Transform", in: Art Press, no. 225, June 1997, p. 22 (illustrated).
R. Marconi, D. Murphy, E. Sinaiko, and E. Abrams, New Art, New York 1997, p. 98 (illustrated).
Gabriel Orozco, exh. cat., Kunsthalle, Zurich, 1996 (another from the edition illustrated).
Gabriel Orozco Clinton Innocent, exh. cat., Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris 1998, pp. 160-161 (another from the edition illustrated).
On The Edge: New Art From Private Collections in France, exh. cat., Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, Tel-Aviv 1998, pp. 86-87 (another from the edition illustrated).
Let's Entertain Life's Guilty Pleasures, exh. cat., Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2000, pp. 44-45 (another from the edition illustrated).
Gabriel Orozco, exh. cat., Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 2000, pp. 31, 44 and 151 (another from the edition illustrated).
Gabriel Orozco, exh. cat., Serpentine Gallery, London 2004 (detail of another from the edition illustrated, p. 114).

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