Diario de Plantas presents 724 drawings made by Gabriel Orozco in Tokyo and Acapulco on 33 notebooks between November 9, 2021, and April 20, 2022 (two volumes in one slipcase).
November 9, 2021. Gabriel Orozco is struck by a leaf. He puts that leaf—and six more, for good measure—in his pocket, then sketches them in his diary. April 20, 2022. Orozco has drawn 724 petals, fronds, bracts, needles, every species of flora that has fallen at his feet. Diario de Plantas reproduces, at their original scale, thirty-three of the artist's plant diaries realized between Tokyo and Acapulco, tracing the evolution of his figuration from the geometric realism of biological diagrams to an efflorescent, organic impressionism rendered with the leaves themselves. Across two volumes printed on bible paper and nestled in a slipcase, Orozco puts the eighteenth-century genre of the botanical travelog to different ends: trading the all-knowing, world-ending encyclopedism of Linneaus and his fellow gentlemen naturalists for an enchantment that approaches what poet Francis Ponge called "l'être végétal" (vegetal being).
Gabriel Orozco (born 1962 in Jalapa) grew up in Mexico City in the cultural milieu of the Mexican left which was linked to muralism, photography and the political literature of the sixties and seventies. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid. He currently lives and works mainly in Tokyo and Mexico City.
Orozco gained his reputation in the early 1990s with his exploration of drawing, photography, sculpture, installation, and expanding later to include painting. His work blurs the boundaries of art with everyday realities and often balances complex geometry with organic materials and elements of chance.
Orozco has had solo exhibitions at institutions such as The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California (2000), The Serpentine Gallery, London (2004), the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico (2006), the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2012), the Aspen Art Museum, Colorado (2016), the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT), Tokyo, Japan (2015), the Moderna Museet, Sweden (2014), and a major retrospective which traveled from the Museum of Modern Art, New York to the Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland, the Centre Pompidou, Paris and the Tate Modern, London (2009-2011).
Gabriel Orozco has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Honoris Causa Award, University of the Arts, Havana, Cuba (2015); the BlueOrange Prize (2006); and the DAAD Artist in Residence, Berlin, Germany (1995). He has participated in the Venice Biennale several times (2017, 2005, 2003, and 1993) and Documenta (2002, and 1997).
In 2016 Orozco completed the permanent Orozco Garden at the South London Gallery, UK, after almost three years of work. A unique, sculptural work, it was his first garden design and features over fifty varieties of plants. In 2019, Orozco was invited to design and coordinate the master plan for Chapultepec Park. In February 2023 Orozco celebrated the completion of his Calzada flotante (Floating Causeway). Designed by the artist as a large-scale pedestrian-only bridge, it is Orozco's first architectural public project in Mexico.