Gabriel Orozco

Gabriel Orozco was born in Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, in 1962 and studied at the Escuela Nacional de Arte Plasticas in Mexico City, and at the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Spain. An avid traveler, Gabriel Orozco uses the urban landscape and the everyday objects found within it to twist conventional notions of reality and engage the imagination of the viewer. Orozco’s interest in complex geometry and mapping find expression in works like the patterned human skull of Black Kites, the curvilinear logic of Oval Billiard Table, and the extended playing field of the chessboard in Horses Running Endlessly.

He considers philosophical problems, such as the concept of infinity, and evokes them in humble moments, as in the photograph Pinched Ball, which depicts a deflated soccer ball filled with water. Matching his passion for political engagement with the poetry of chance encounters, Orozco’s photographs, sculptures, and installations propose a distinctive model for the ways in which artists can affect the world with their work. Orozco was featured at Documenta XI (2002), where his sensuous terra-cotta works explored the elegance and logic of traditional ceramics—a pointed commentary on Mexican craft and its place in a “high art” gallery space.

Orozco has shown his work at distinguished venues, including Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the Venice Biennale. A major retrospective of Orozco’s work was assembled at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in 2000 and traveled to Museo Internacional Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, and Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Monterey, Mexico. Gabriel Orozco lives and works in New York, Paris, and Mexico City.

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Interview

Skeletal Sculpture

Gabriel Orozco discusses the process behind his 2006 sculpture Mobile Matrix, a permanent installation for the José Vasconcelos Library in Mexico City.

Interview

Education & Influences

Gabriel Orozco shares how his upbringing in Mexico informs his work.

Interview

Games—Ping Pong, Billiards, and Chess

Gabriel Orozco discusses his artworks that play on various types of games, and how those works relate to underlying theoretical concepts.

Interview

Thinking with Clay

In this interview, Gabriel Orozco talks about his process of working with clay, and what the tactility of the medium brings to his artistic practice.