OF BEAUTY AND CONSOLATION – GABRIEL RICO’S EXHIBITION IN PERROTIN NEW YORK
Gabriel Rico, Guadalajara-based artist, actively engages theory by studying a broad range of philosophical works, scientific research, and ancient texts. A confessed ontologist, Rico brings to existence these theoretical musings through curious and fantastical juxtapositions of found objects – man-made and natural– with crafted pieces that together interrogate humanity’s species-being vis a vis the world of things, and to create visual formulae to help solve a myriad of universal existential problems.
Rico’s exhibition title, Of Beauty and Consolation, is a direct quotation from a Dutch television series of the same title, created and hosted by journalist Wim Kayzer, who interviewed 26 philosophers and thinkers, scientists, artists, musicians, writers, and other learned celebrities, and asked them a question: “What makes life worth living?” Rico also asks big questions as such, though not verbally, but visually through his work, through each of the objects he uses, and the implied relationships these objects have with each other and with the viewers. Rico acts as an interlocutor between the material world and the noetic space, with this exhibition reflecting a studied approach to contemporary thought, and a methodology for ontological experiments.
The entirety of the exhibition, consisting of 13 works of art, can be considered in fractal terms where the structure of the whole is also found in the structure of each piece. Every work of art in this exhibition is formed from the imaginings of innocent precocity, while executed with mathematical acuity of Einsteinian proportions. Indeed, both wonder and analysis exist on the same plane in each of Rico’s work and is imbued with the same philosophical -scientific approach to the synthesis of the visual experience. For this reason, the works act as formulae – a set of terms that expresses its composition while also being a set of procedures that reveal the relationships between the part and the whole – that can be plugged into any equation of varying scale.
Born in 1980 in Lagos de Moreno, Mexico, Gabriel Rico works with the interrelation of seemingly disparate objects. A self-proclaimed “ontologist with a heuristic methodology,” Rico pairs found, collected, and manufactured materials to create sculptures that invite viewers to reflect on the relationship between humans and our natural environment. He frequently uses neon, taxidermy, ceramics, branches, and more personal pieces of his past to create an equation or formulation, achieving a precise geometry despite the organic, roughly hewn character of his materials. His installations ironically and poetically combine natural and unnatural forms, insisting on a necessary contemplation of their asymmetry as well as our own cultural and political flaws.
On view until June 5th
130 Orchard Street
NEW YORK, NY 10002