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  • Provenance

    White Cube, London

  • Exhibited

     London, White Cube, Gabriel Orozco: Twelve Paintings and a Drawing, September 29 – November 11, 2006

  • Catalogue Essay

    Gabriel Orozco highlights chance encounters in everyday objects and situations. He visualizes  the nascent poetry within chance encounters and paradoxically rearranges random objects found around him, producing his lyrical photographs and installations.  His work is deeply conceptual with elaborate poetic, philosophical and art historical references.
    The present lot, Samurai Tree 3L, 2006 follows Orozco’s notable series titled Atomist, where the artist incorporates the color elipse and spheres for the first time.  In the Atomist, a series of sporting images from newspaper clippings, overlaid with colour ellipses and spheres, he parallels the ancient Greek concept of Atomism, which posited matter as constituted by atoms in motion rather than solid substance. The world view that this implies, based on cyclical motion rather than linear stasis, formed the central theme of Orozco’s series.
    More recently Orozco explored the phenomenology of structures, in which the symbol of the circle acts as a bridge between geometry and organic matter and the sequences of color is based on the principles of movements within a game of chess. Taking the Samurai move (also known as the Knight’s move), from chess as his starting point, he produces here an extremely elegant painting, where the three primary colors of red, blue and yellow (gold), cut with white, wander from one segment of the circle to the next, in a pattern similar to the pace of a knight in a game of chess – revealing intriguing new constellations. Orozco elaborates on the theme of “invariance”, exploring forms which remain unchanged in spite of their transformation. Samurai Tree 3L is the artist’s presentation of all possible transformations of a basic invariant form. Duchamp would have certainly appreciated the playfully ironic reference to his own passion for chess.

  • Artist Biography

    Gabriel Orozco

    Mexican • 1954

    Gabriel Orozco's diverse practice, which includes sculpture, photography, painting and video, is centered on the rejection of the concept of a traditional studio. Alternatively, Orozco's conceptual process involves using quotidian objects as commentary on urban society. In the widely exhibited La DS (1993), Orozco cut a Citroën DS car into thirds, eliminating the central section and reconfiguring the remaining parts.

    Another important motif in Orozco's lexicon is that of the colored ellipses. In his seminal series, Samurai Tree Invariants, the artist employs fragmented colored circles as the basis for geometric compositions, exploring the movements made by a knight on a chessboard. These not only represent Orozco's conceptual practices but illustrate his interest in both the geometric and organic world.

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Samurai Tree 3L

Egg tempera and gold leaf on wooden panel.
21 3/4 x 21 3/4 in. (55 x 55 cm).

£70,000 - 90,000 

Sold for £90,500

Property from The Vanmoerkerke Collection, Belgium

3 Apr 2008, 4pm