Everything is made to realize a function
Yet sometimes this function is never realized
Upon completing this function, the object is unmade
This undoing is the point of departure
Collecting, classifying, sorting and grouping found and fragmentary objects that did not realize the primary function for which they were created is the basis for the six new series that Gabriel de la Mora will present in his next solo exhibition at OMR Gallery.
Function, by its simplest definition, is the purpose or task attributed to a thing. In the works exhibited, the primary purpose of each is lost, whether that be to time, attrition or by an obsolescence initiated by the artist himself. In mathematics, the definition of function, represented by (f), indicates the relationship between two or more quantities, and serves as an analogy for the new roles the presented objects take on in these new artist-imposed contexts.
Egg shells, shoe soles, matches, microscope slides, fabric from old radios, aluminum foil and used rubber offset printing blankets, these discarded objects all transform into the primary material of the artist. With these materials, de la Mora explores the essential physical characteristics of the object to uncover alternative relationships and perspectives, and reveals new functions in their accumulations. For example, by filling a surface with thousands of fragments of eggshells, he transforms the smooth, curvilinear egg into minimalist surface of infinite texture, the initial breakage lost in the multitude. Alternatively, the registration of an action, of the strike of the sole on the ground, the extinguishing of a newly struck match or the accumulation of inks on a rubber blanket, each communicate a history of the relationship between a person and an object, where this repetitive function becomes the artwork itself.
In this exhibition, de la Mora explores the balance between image and meaning, constructing works of pictorial gesture in which the viewer is reintroduced to known surfaces. The artist exposes the wellspring of narrative information and aesthetic beauty contained within the shape, color, texture of each object and the distinct registers of time, use, and wear of each. Once the technical, visual and formal aspects of a functional object are realized, what remains is the concept, the initial idea, and by focusing on this primordial characteristic, the artist lends a new function to the reclaimed object.
Gabriel de la Mora (Colima, Mexico, 1968) lives and works in Mexico City. He first trained as an architect and subsequently earned his MFA in Painting from the Pratt Institute, NYC. De la Mora’s work lies in questioning and experimenting with the interstitial limits between painting, drawing, and sculpture. De la Mora’s work has been solo exhibited in museums the world over, including at the Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico; N.C. Arte, Bogota, Colombia; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, Mexico; Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA; and the Centro Cultural Bastero Kulturgunea, Bilbao, Spain. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, DC; Colección FEMSA, Monterrey, Mexico; Fundación Jumex, Mexico; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; El Museo del Barrio, NYC; The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX; and the Albright-Knox Gallery, NY; among others. In addition, the artist has been honored with many awards and invitations to participate in biennials and is the recipient of the Fulbright-García Robles (2001-03). (f) is the third exhibition of the artist in Galería OMR.
Fotos: Cortesía de Enrique Macias y Galería OMR