Above, a detail of a piece in Gabriel Orozco's solo show currently up at Kurimanzutto, shot by Deborah Bonello of MexicoReporter. Here's Deborah's post on the show, with a video interview with the artist, at La Plaza.
Orozco inserts ancient dried plant life from Mexico's harsh deserts into the white cube of the gallery, and rings the space with psychedelic geometrical drawings, some done beautifully in gold leaf. The desert object above is fitted with creepy glass eyes. Forgive me, but the whole thing feels like an homage to peyote.
Who is Gabriel Orozco? In the history of Mexican contemporary art, he holds a singular place, as his practice in the late 1980s and 90s impacted not only Mexican art but aesthetic trends on a global scale. From the catalog for "La era de la discrepancia/The Age of Discrepancy," edited by Olivier Debroise:
From 1987 to 1990, he began to formulate a dissident approach to art that drew upon numerous anti-art strategies, from Marcel Duchamp's read-mades to Joseph Beuys's concept of "expansion." Through his talleres de los viernes, or Friday workshop, Orozco had a notable influence on the artists who would later found Temistocles 44, marked by the irruption of philosophical theory into artistic practices. Orozco participated in several group shows in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but he maintained a low profile, since his proposals -- like abrading bricks during a walk through a vacant lot, leaving traces of red powder, or arranging abandoned oranges on the stands in an open air market, or inserting stones found while walking in his Tlalpan neighborhood into a metal fence -- did not really fit within the institutional structures of the time, mainly because they questioned the artistic support itself.