Thursday, January 21, 2010

Suspended

Went to MoMA today to catch the Bauhaus exhibit (which closes Monday) and to see "Ocean of an Old Man," a new Indian art film about the aftermath of the Great Tsunami in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, but also had a chance to look into the Gabriel Orozco show. Part of it, suspended in the middle of the atrium, was the skeleton of a grey whale (salvaged in Baja California) painted with concentric circles, at once two- and three-dimensional, found and constructed, art museum and natural history museum. Orozco's art, like that of many in his generation, comes close to being gimmicky. But often enough it transcends gimmicry to achieve something deep. "Horses Running Endlessly" (1995, above) prances deliriously in and out of chess, rules, teamwork, differen- tiation, conflict, direction, purpose. "Yielding Stone" (1992, above) is a ball of plasticine, a material which doesn't harden and can't be fired, weighing just as much as its artist, who rolled it around a city, making "a body that is vulnerable to time, to the city." There's something beautifully true about this unbeautiful blob.

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