A poem for Gabriel Orozco: the global artist

My hands are my heart

or my heart is my hand

hiding the fingers

in the soft of my palm.

You cannot read

the lines on my palms, but feel

the strength in my arms.

I am the clay man with strong muscles

sitting in front of a kitchen table

in New York, in Mexico, in Paris.

I strip tyres,

I decorate skulls,

I scavenge,

I jumble-tumble.

I’m difficult.

Life is a solo act,

a casual scooter in Berlin,

a bad rehearsal.

The shoe box doesn’t count.

Gabriel Orozco is a Mexican artist who has been named ‘one of the most influential artists of this decade’, and his works are marked by wit and playfulness. He has participated in the Venice Biennale for three times and is represented by Marian Goodman Gallery.

Tate Modern is hosting his first major UK retrospective until 25 April.

Review by Jackie Wullschlager, FT

Review by Richard Dormant, The Telegraph

An essay by George Macchi, TATE ETC

Rachel Whiteread’s drawings

Rachel Whiteread’s drawings exhibited at Tate Britain are a fascinating account that compare sculptures with modern architecture. Sketching furniture with correction fluid, tracing silhouettes of buildings and spaces on graph paper, articulate a deep preoccupation with the way imagination converts one’s two-dimensional seeing into a three-dimensional world. In some sketches, buildings are painted over with varnish, prompting us to consider the inter-dependence of the exterior and the inteior, the outward appearance of an architecture and the interiors or the inhabitants themselves.

rachel whiteread drawings at the tate

There is, typical of her work, no visible sign of human interference, yet the skeleton of these houses convinces one of a living if hidden presence. It is as if the simple lines, shapes and primary colours suffice to render or allude to what’s there.

Tracing forms and shapes with the use of primary materials, grids and minimalist lines, Whiteread’s drawings take on a pristine quality and an unspoken understanding towards urban living. City dwellers, hidden most of the time behind the wall facades of offices, homes and public buildings, are the faceless that populate these spaces. The recurrent motifs of walls, floors, windows and doors convey ritual and repetition.

One especially intriguing dimension her drawings: the meditation on the patterned floor. It teases the imagination, this exposure of the floor behind the carpet, beyond the footsteps it ensures day and night. The image of the textured floor on measured grids, coloured plaster white with correction fluid or varnish painted, hints at the passage of history, that in due course even the weathered floorboard we walk on will fossilise and become part of the past.

Credits Palm Beach Art http://www.pbart.com

See TATE ETC magazine for an interview with the artist, especially her engaging artpiece Place / Village, click here.