Critics’ Picks

Spums Stream, 2003.

Spums Stream, 2003.

New York

Gabriel Orozco

Marian Goodman Gallery | New York
24 West 57th Street
October 22–November 22, 2003

Gabriel Orozco’s large hanging sculptures, now on view at Marian Goodman Gallery, are made of polyurethane foam, an industrial material the yellow ivory color of bone. Their elegant composite forms call to mind the fossilized skeletons of fish, dinosaurs, or birds, and, despite their size, they hang without strain, moving just slightly as if floating in water. Though they evoke a lineage of creations that sought to meld the organic and the mechanical—Leonardo da Vinci’s armadillo-like tanks, Vladimir Tatlin’s flying machine—for Orozco these works are essentially formal investigations. The use of the foam calls to mind Eva Hesse and Lynda Benglis, both of whom used this nontraditional sculptural material. Look closely and abject bodily details become apparent: oozing at the joints where two pieces come together, bubbles in the surfaces, not to mention their puslike hue. Graceful and serene from afar, gooey and imperfect close-up, these freewheeling works betray more than anything the artist’s immense enjoyment of his practice.