Following meticulous and self-created methodologies, Gabriel de la Mora researches, collects, classifies, catalogs, and manipulates remarkably diverse materials. These materials are familiar, sourced from quotidian objects—his ongoing series The weight of thought, for example, repurposes leather and rubber shoe soles. de la Mora’s materials of choice are those often considered waste or residue: collected artifacts and antiques, obsolete mechanical and utilitarian objects, parts, corporeal matter, architectural scrap. Through these, the artist explores finitude and permanence, the passing of time, it’s bracketing, and the transformation of matter and energy alike. The formal outcome of these processes plays with pre-established notions of drawing, painting, and sculpture. Characterized by their visual potency, the resulting bodies of work complicate theoretical and historical art terms (the ready-made, the objet-trouvé, the monochrome, the peinture en plein air, among others). As such, they establish an ironic spin on the abstract and minimalist aesthetics and inquire about the ever-changing notion of painting as a phenomenon. Can painting originate itself with the passing of time and without any intervention from the artist’s hand? This apparent negation of painting and other ontological musings formulated by de la Mora’s oeuvre is extended to artistic practice at large: When is an artwork born and when does it reach its conclusion? What is the role of the artist within the creative act? Coupled with equally methodical and strict processes, Gabriel de la Mora has constituted a practice in which the role of the artist is not to create nor to destroy, but to transform.

Gabriel de la Mora was born on September 23, 1968 in Mexico City, where he lives and works. He earned an MFA in Painting (2001-03) from Pratt Institute, NY and a BFA in Architecture (1987-91) from Universidad Anáhuac del Norte, Mexico City. He has been a Fulbright García-Robles grant recipient, a grantee from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, and a member of the National System of Creators-FONCA (2013-15), Mexico.

His work is part of public and private collections in Mexico and abroad, among them: Fundación/Colección JUMEX, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Internacional Rufino Tamayo, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo-MUAC, and Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City; Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico; Museum of Contemporary Art-MOCA, Los Angeles, CA; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; El Museo del Barrio, NYC, NY; Albright-Knox, Buffalo, NY; Perez Art Museum, Miami, FL; Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY; Centro Gallego de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago de Compostela; Colección Banco de la República and Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Bogotá; Museo de Arte Latinoamericano-MALBA, Buenos Aires.

He is represented by  PROYECTOSMONCLOVA  (Mexico City), Timothy Taylor (London), Sicardi Ayers Bacino (Houston) and PERROTIN (Paris, New York, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong).

Downloads

Gabriel de la Mora @ Proyectos Monclova Booth G28 / Art Basel Miami Beach

Nov.24.2022

Gabriel de la Mora @Proyectos Monclova Booth G28 Art Basel Miami Beach
Miami Beach Convention Center
December 1 – 3, 2022

James Benjamin Franklin, Eduardo Terrazas, Edgar Orlaineta, Michael Sailstorfer, Gabriel de la Mora, Ángela Guirría, Helen Escobedo, Manuel Felguérez, Alexander Calder.

https://www.proyectosmonclova.com/

www.gabrieldelamora.com

* The butterfly wings used in this new Lepidoptera series come from butterflies raised in butterfly farms in Peru, Indonesia and Madagascar, dying naturally when released, they are collected by local communities.

Gabriel de la Mora @ Perrotin Booth: J3 / Art Basel Miami Beach

Nov.23.2022

Gabriel de la Mora @ Perrotin
Art Basel Miami Beach
Booth J3
December 1 — 3, 2022
Miami Beach Convention Center
1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Perrotin is pleased to participate in this year’s iteration of Art Basel Miami Beach with an interactive project by art collective MSCHF, a nested solo presentation by Japanese artists belonging to Kaikai Kiki studio, and the debut of work by new artists to the gallery: Henry Gunderson, Nikki Maloof, Sophia Narrett, and Kathia St. Hilaire.

Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF will make their debut at Art Basel with an immersive sculpture on Perrotin’s booth, concurrent to their exhibition at Perrotin New York on view through December 23, No More Tears, I’m Lovin’ It.

Central to the booth, Perrotin will present new artwork by Japanese artists belonging to Kaikai Kiki. Emi Kuraya, MADSAKI, and ob will debut new paintings, Otani Workshop will present a series of bronze sculptures and paintings, and Takashi Murakami will debut works from his Murakami.Flowers series. Concurrently, Otani Workshop recently opened Hand, Eye, and Soul at Perrotin Seoul and Takashi Murakami will inaugurate Perrotin Dubai with a solo exhibition, on view from November 25, 2022 through January 28, 2023.
Henry Gunderson will unveil a large-scale painting from his “House” series, marking Perrotin’s first collaboration with the artist, ahead of a solo exhibition of his work at Perrotin New York this Spring. Gunderson uses an acrylic layering technique in his oversized, hyperrealistic paintings that explore the human psyche through post-industrial American Pop Art landscapes.

Additionally, we will present a nested solo corner of still life artworks by Nikki Maloof, Sophia Narrett, and Danielle Orchard, who will have their debut exhibitions at Perrotin New York in Spring 2023. Kathia St. Hilaire will also present a new work on the booth, concurrent to her first-ever institutional exhibition, titled Immaterial Being, at NSU Fort Lauderdale.

Finally, Bernard Frize will present a new series of paintings, concurrent to his exhibition at Perrotin Paris (2 bis Avenue Matignon), Comment Puis-Je Te Dire…, on view through December 17.

Perrotin’s booth will include a curated selection of works by Jean-Marie Appriou, Iván Argote, Hernan Bas, Genesis Belanger, Anna-Eva Bergman, Stan Burnside, Jean-Philippe Delhomme, Nick Doyle, Charles Hascoët, Thilo Heinzmann, John Henderson, Leslie Hewitt, Gregor Hildebrandt, Kara Joslyn, Izumi Kato, Bharti Kher, Klara Kristalova, Trevon Latin, Lee Bae, Gabriel de la Mora, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Paola Pivi, Gabriel Rico, Jesús Rafael Soto, Josh Sperling, Tavares Strachan, and Xiyao Wang.

Gabriel de la Mora @ Timothy Taylor Booth: C28 / Art Basel Miami Beach

Nov.22.2022

Gabriel de la Mora @ Timothy Taylor Booth C28
Art Basel Miami Beach
VIP Preview: 29 – 30 November 2022 Public Days: 1 – 3 December 2022

Timothy Taylor is pleased to present a blend of primary and secondary-market works for Art Basel Miami Beach 2022, showcasing artists Daniel Crews-Chubb, Jorge Eielson, Armen Eloyan, Sam Francis, Adolph Gottlieb, Damien Hirst, David Hockney, Alex Katz, Jonathan Lasker, Glenn Ligon, Sahara Longe, Chris Martin, Eddie Martinez, Josephine Meckseper, Gabriel de la Mora, Annie Morris, Richard Patterson, Hayal Pozanti, Jiab Prachakul, Sean Scully, Kiki Smith and Eduardo Terrazas.

Tracing the influence and potency of 20th century masters to the vibrant work of contemporary artists today, the paintings and sculpture in this presentation focus on the blaze of painterly colour and clarity of form. They reflect the moment before the eye and brain connect in a snap of seeing: when life moves into flashes of pure abstraction.

GABRIEL DE LA MORA @ INTERVIEW ARTNET BY HUANG GEMAIN

Nov.10.2022

WEST BUND ART & DESIGN
Gabriel de la Mora
West Bund Art Center
Booth: A108 / Perrotin
10-13 November 2022
Shanghai, China

Interview link:

https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/-1pDaTcPsjOwnDNZpBMz5Q

Gabriel de la Mora @ PERROTIN Booth: A108 / West Bund Art & Design 2022 Shanghai

Nov.02.2022

WEST BUND ARTY & DESIGN
Gabriel de la Mora
West Bund Art Center
Booth: A108
10-13 November 2022.

For West Bund Art & Design 2022, Perrotin will dedicate a solo booth of new works by Mexican artist Gabriel de la Mora.

Gabriel de la Mora´s practice focuses on the construction of seemingly minimal yet extremely complex surfaces that are underlined by intense mathematical precision. As both a collector of objects and fascinated by science, he began to make geometric compositions with elements that contrain genetic material – human hair, feathers, eggshells, or most recently, butterfly wings. For this new body of work, titled Lepidoptera, De la Mora mines the rich cultural symbolism of the butterfly, sourcing the material from butterfly conservation farms in Peru and Indonesia. In addition, the artist presents an evolution to this series, including three works that integrate three different materials at the same time: Morpho didius butterfly wings, 24 karats Pure Gold leaf, and acrylic paint.

 

https://www.perrotin.com/art-fairs/west-bund-shanghai/10495

https://www.perrotin.com/artists/gabriel_de_la_mora_/455#news

Gabriel de la Mora @ PERROTIN Booth A11 FRIEZE LONDON

Oct.12.2022

Gabriel de la Mora @ PERROTIN Booth A11 FRIEZE LONDON
Regent´s Park
October 13 – 17, 2022

 

For this year’s iteration of Frieze London, Perrotin is pleased to present a new set of works by GaHee Park, some of which were created this summer during the gallery’s residency in Cap Ferret. The artist will showcase a series of paintings and drawings in a nested presentation.

We will also present unseen works by Bernard Frize and Iván Argote who will have simultaneous shows at Perrotin Paris this October. Argote’s paintings presented at our booth echo to his special presentation Air de jeux at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, as part of his nomination for Marcel Duchamp Prize.

In addition to his solo exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, American artist Daniel Arsham will present a recent sculpture at our booth.

Finally, we will present a selection of works by artists from our roster, including Jean-Marie Appriou, Lee Bae, Bharti Kher, Sophie Calle, Johan Creten, Jean-Philippe Delhomme, Mathilde Denize, Jens Fänge, Laurent Grasso, Hans Hartung, Thilo Heinzmann, Leslie Hewitt, Gregor Hildebrandt, Susumu Kamijo, Klara Kristalova, Gabriel de la Mora, Takashi Murakami, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Paola Pivi, Claire Tabouret, Xiyao Wang, and others.

https://www.frieze.com/tags/frieze-london-2022

 

Gabriel de la Mora @ Proyectos Monclova Booth 341 / Armory Show / 9 – 11 september

Sep.08.2022
PROYECTOS MONCLOVA
Armory Show 2022
09.09.2022 – 11.09.2022
Booth 341
Abel Quezada, Hilda Palafox, Helen Escobedo, Eduardo Terrazas, Gabriel de la Mora, James Benjamin FranklinJavits Center / 429 11th Avenue
New York, NY 10001https://www.proyectosmonclova.com/

 

 

Image:
Gabriel de la Mora , 1,800 – Di. Ju (900 II- Di.Ju.+ 900 I – Di.Ju.), 2022
Díptico de mosaico de alas de mariposa Dione juno sobre cartulina de museo y bastidor de madera / Dyptich of Dione juno butterfly wings mosaic on museum cardboard and wooden frame
Overall dimensions: 35 x 70 x 6 cm / 13.78 x 27.56 x 2.36 inches
Each image dimensions: 30 x 30 x 2 cm /11.81 x 11.81 x .79 inches
Each framed dimensions: 35 x 35 x 6 cm / 13.78 x 13.78 x 2.36 inches

 

The butterfly wings used in this new Lepidoptera series come from butterflies raised in butterfly farms in Peru, Indonesia and Madagascar, dying naturally when released, they are collected by local communities

Gabriel de la Mora @ Sicardi Ayers Bacino Booth 228 / The Armory Show / 8- 11 september

Sep.05.2022

The Armory Show
Booth 228 | Javits Center | New York, NY
September 8-11, 2022

Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino is pleased to announce our participation in The Armory Show 2022 at the Javitz Center in New York from September 8-11. In Booth 228, the gallery will present a group exhibition featuring gallery artists Gustavo Díaz, Thomas Glassford, Marco Maggi, Gabriel de la Mora, Reynier Leyva Novo, Miguel Angel Ríos, Fanny Sanín, and Melanie Smith.

Fair Schedule:

VIP Preview invitation only
Thursday, September 8 12-8pm

Public Days
Friday, September 9 12-8pm
Saturday, September 10 12-7pm
Sunday, September 11 12-6pm

Tickets are available for purchase here.

For a preview of the booth, please call the gallery at 713.529.1313 or contact William Isbell at 832.264.3466 (william@sicardi.com) or Rebekah Bredthauer at 901.825.2909 (rebekah@sicardi.com).

 

 

https://www.sicardi.com/art-fairs/the-armory-show14?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Press&utm_campaign=Join+us+8-30-22

IMAGE: Gabriel de la Mora, 8,684, 2022. 4,372 concave blown glass fragments and aluminum, 4,312 convex blown glass fragments and aluminum on museum cardboard and wood, 38 5/8 x 38 5/8 x 2 3/8 in.

Gabriel de la Mora @ Perrotin Booth 10 / ArtMonte Carlo / 14-16 july

Jul.15.2022

ARTMONTE-CARLO
Booth 10
July 14 – 16
Grimaldi Forum
10 avenue Princesse Grace, Monaco

Perrotin is pleased to return to artmonte-carlo with a selection of new paintings by American artist Danielle Orchard, who will have her first solo exhibition in Paris in September.We also showcase Lee Bae’s latest series Issu du feu (White lines) shown earlier this year at our Paris gallery.

Laurent Grasso presents some recent works including a painting from his series Studies Into The Past ahead of his major exhibition at the Collège des Bernardins, in October 2022.

Our booth also features a selection of works from Jean-Marie Appriou’s latest series Communionem Elementaris, first shown at his solo exhibition at Art Basel 2022. The Villa Medici is currently hosting a series of Appriou’s animal and plant sculptures inspired by fantastic worlds.

We are also pleased to present a new photograph by Sophie Calle titled The Ghosts of Orsay from her last solo exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay which just closed its doors.

Finally, new works by Johan Creten, Mathilde Denize, Jens Fänge, Gabriel de La Mora, Xavier Veilhan, and Pieter Vermeersch are presented alongside a selection of works by Yves Laloy and Hans Hartung.

Gabriel de la Mora @ PERROTIN Booth L25 / ART BASEL

Jun.08.2022

Gabriel de la Mora @ PERROTIN Booth L25 / ART BASEL
June 16-19, 2022
Messeplatz 10, 4058 Basel, Switzerland

 

Jean-Marie Appriou, Johan Creten, Emi Kuraya, Hans Hartung, Lee Bae, Takashi Murakami,Gérard Schneider, Hans Hartung, Johan Creten, Emi Kuraya, Daniel Arsham, Cristina BanBan, Sophie Calle, Gabriel de la Mora, Mathilde Denize, Elmgreen & Dragset, Lionel Estève, Chen Fei, Bernard Frize, Laurent Grasso, Zach Harris, Thilo Heinzmann, JR, Bharti Kher, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Paola Pivi, Park Seo-Bo, Tavares Strachan, Xavier Veilhan, Pieter Vermeersch, Xiyao Wang, Anna-Eva Bergman, Alain Jacquet, Georges Mathieu, Jesús Rafael Soto.

https://artbasel.com/basel?gclid=CjwKCAjwkYGVBhArEiwA4sZLuDlMVV_JFijjeeouptxgoXg2Ofe2psH9a7aPHp9oU-X7yP0y8ECoKBoCF1YQAvD_BwE

www.perrotin.com

 

Photo:

Gabriel de la Mora, 3,878 – M.D, 2022, Mosaico de alas de mariposa Morpho didius sobre cartulina de museo / Morpho didius butterfly wings mosaic on museum cardboard, 60 x 60 x 2 cm / 23.62 x 23.62 x .79 inches, Enmarcado 65 x 65 x 6 cm / Framed 25.59 x 25.59 x 2.36 inches, serie Lepidóptera / Lepidoptera series.

The butterfly wings used in this new Lepidoptera series come from butterflies raised in butterfly farms in Peru, Indonesia and Madagascar, dying naturally when released, they are collected by local communities.

 

 

 

 

Solo show

Gabriel de la Mora: El artista es el autor que desaparece…

Jun.03.2022 - Jan.02.2023
Pinacoteca de la Universidad de Colima

The artist is the author who disappears …
Gabriel de la Mora

I draw these letters  as the day draws its images and blows over them and does not return
Writing, Octavio Paz

The poet is a creator who disappears behind his work, says Octavio Paz.  This condition is necessary for the reader to complete the poem, since the images can only be freely interpreted when they have been separated from their author. Paz ponders with Heraclitus that it is the logos itself that is manifested in the poem and, through its matter, the individual subjectivity of the author is not expressed, but the voice of all humanity. Similarly, in the works that comprise the series The Sense of Possibility, by Gabriel de la Mora, the artist gives place to nature, which literally acts on the canvases.

These pieces were conceived as a response to the environmental deterioration caused by our industrial and extractive activities. During a visit to Monterrey in September 2015, De la Mora documented the gradual deterioration of Cerro de las Mitras, where there are deposits of raw materials for the manufacture of cement. The series consist of landscapes and seascapes acquired in antique and flea markets – decorative pieces, by forgotten or unknown authors, perhaps as a result of quasi-industrial production lines – that were exposed to the elements for different periods of time.

The process reverses the meaning of outdoor painting: that idyllic figure of the painter in the field that popular culture tends to regard as the ultimate attempt to capture the essence of the landscape. Here nature is imposed on the pieces: the wind, the sun, the humidity, hailstones and changes in temperature act on the pieces to transform them. They have ceased to be a representation of the landscape to become an indication of the presence of nature and its effects. In them the tension is manifested between the practice of painting with its claim to eternity –the image that fixes the moment to stop time, the technique that has developed the materials that try to prevent the decay of the pictorial object– and the deterioration caused over time, a slow, almost imperceptible erosion that has been halted and stabilized again.

The pictorial image is an instant charged with subjectivity that De la Mora turns into a device at service of memory, understood according to the philosopher Manuel Cruz1, as a human glance about the world, as an instrument to see reality from another perspective. However, the procedure that the artist has used causes a double negative, each of these pieces is the representation of a landscape that is no longer there, and at the same time, it is a representation that disappears: it is the erased memory of an absence indicating that the memory is always on the verge of oblivion.

Eric Nava Muñoz

  1. Manuel Cruz, Cómo hacer cosas con recuerdos 2007, Buenos Aires, Katz.

 

https://portal.ucol.mx/dgpc/Pinacoteca-Universitaria.htm

 

Solo show

Gabriel de la Mora @ The Philadelphia Art Alliance of the University of the Arts

Jan.19.2022 - Apr.04.2022
The Philadelphia Art Alliance of the University of the Arts

The Philadelphia Art Alliance at University of the Arts is pleased to present one-person exhibitions by Gracie Devito, Merlin James and Gabriel de la Mora that revolve around a new sensibility of abstracted landscape. These three global artists have never exhibited in Philadelphia before. Each has arrived at these works from individualized tactics that variously confront the history of representation while acknowledging the materiality and construction of images.

Gracie DeVito’s paintings come from a history of performance. Her paintings have the effect of the fairy tales limned by Nabis painters; their rippled edges betray their origins, often painted on utilitarian painter’s cloth instead of artist’s linen. Yet they have none of the aura of Arte Povera, and it is DeVito’s elegant sense of color that elevates the work. The paintings are accented with brilliant punctal passages—daubed, stained and drawn back into with coy figurative and vegetal references. DeVito balances (in)formal shape concerns with elements of schematic depictions surrounding most works by sinuous frames that capture and echo the support’s contours. They are somewhat whimsical without deceiving the viewer.

The paintings of Merlin James are also subtly radical in their own terms. His personal color sensibility is at times solemn, at others brightly exuberant. He works on a variety of surfaces whose textures have a great effect on his paint touch and attack. In some works, the stretcher bars may be visible through translucent supports. In other paintings, the outside contour of the canvases bows away from traditional rectangular modes. James often physically pierces the picture plane with the negative space punctuating towards pictorial ends. Neither wholly figurative nor adverse to abstraction, James, in effect, advances Western representational canon while deconstructing its illusionist heritage.

Gabriel de la Mora is a conceptual artist more than a painter, per se. Each of his projects incorporates constructing images from found, discarded and obsolete objects such as eggshells, shoe soles, speaker screens and feathers from which the Mexican artist creates minimal monochrome-looking surfaces of great technical complexity, conceptual rigor and embedded information. In this current series, de la Mora has gathered flea market landscape paintings that he exposes to the elements and the extreme heat of the sun on Mexico City rooftops. As the pigments degrade, often barely adhering to the canvas, the physical pixelation of craquelure filters our comprehension. We are implicated in the process of recognizing default representational clichés but also the fate of our planet under climate stress.

 

https://www.uarts.edu/gallery/gracie-devito-gabriel-de-la-mora-merlin-james

 

Solo show

Gabriel de la Mora @ PSICOTROPICAL

Feb.02.2022 - Mar.05.2022
PROYECTOS MONCLOVA

Psychotropical

by Marcello Dantas

Morpho didius is a species of neotropical butterfly. It is large, with wings that are a rich blue on top and have distinct eyespots underneath. These butterflies have a very specific genetic code that draws their identity. Their genes also provide instructions on how and where to migrate, thereby defining their territory. There is a tropical wisdom in every butterfly and each one conveys a message to the next generation.

I have always been fascinated by the way artists’ processes can reveal things they themselves were not aware of before. Gabriel de la Mora develops his work by piecing together small fragments of materials ranging from eggshells to butterfly wings. His obsessive practice produces new, extraordinary surfaces. From a distant point of view, it may seem that the original act is the schematic mind that formats resemblances into difference. If we go beyond the surface, however, two concepts emerge very clearly. First, the original act is in fact the fracture imposed on an object, like breaking an egg, cracking a mirror, or dissecting a butterfly. The fracture produces the potential drawing that the artist will then seek out with his obsessive repetition of trying to find the original essence in its fragment. It is this search for a new whole within the torn, traumatized fragment that makes his artistic process so special. Spaces between things create the opportunity for newness.

Most of the materials he uses carry a genetic code, for example, the one that causes many kinds of butterflies to produce eye spots on the surfaces of their wings. All eggs are similar, but no two are identical. So, to be sure there is a mystery already encoded in the material. One can even find this aspect in minerals, as when De la Mora approaches obsidian, a volcanic glass that has two aspects: a solid matte surface and a black mirrored surface. These materials all have ancestral uses in Mesoamerican cultures, yet they allow for a completely new contemporary reading. Doubt serves as the raw material when we don’t recognize the elements of an artwork.

The first piece I ever encountered by Gabriel de La Mora was a drawing he had made using thin strands of human hair. Human hair is fantastic evidence of identity, revealing everything from a person’s DNA to their nutrition. At the same time, using it to draw seemed like an impossible task, one that could only be done by someone with an obsessive mind. But De la Mora is not only obsessive; he is also dyslexic, capable of writing perfectly backwards as only a mirrored image could do. In every repetition, even of an intentional act, something different occurs.

I have a habit of challenging artists to create a work that would be relevant to species other than humans. When De la Mora presents us with a field of eyes, no one immediately recognizes where they come from. Repetition, difference, and patterns resemble the production of a language. If these works were to become the only evidence of human existence for an extraterrestrial, they would pose a question: what is the code that informs them? Would they look for a Rosetta Stone to interpret that pattern into some sort of message? My guess is that they would, and that they would find something. Just as an acid trip produces similar effects on people’s minds, or the rhythmic beat of electronic music triggers certain hormonal responses in us, the repeating patterns in Gabriel de la Mora’s work may produce a certain type of psychedelic experience.

Between his obsessive practice and the coherence of being a butterfly an encounter may occur and that is the place of art: to reveal something we cannot address in any other way. A psychotropical language emerges between the flight of a butterfly and the light of an artist. We just have to accept our humble ignorance when it comes to knowing how to decode it, just as when we hear a foreign language without knowing any of the words, we can still pick up on rhythm, pitch, and volume, and grasp the subliminal essence of the message. If we accept the psychotropic experience in these works, we may not need a Rosetta Stone to understand them.

 

https://www.proyectosmonclova.com/exhibitions-gallery/psicotropical

Solo show

Gabriel de la Mora : Lepidoptera @ Perrotin New York

Nov.03.2021 - Dec.23.2021
Perrotin, New York

https://leaflet.perrotin.com/view/173/lepidoptera

The Lepidoptera Demon

 Butterflies are known for their delicacy and discreet charm, qualities enhanced through a capacity to keep unnoticed: It is astounding how little an ordinary person notices butterflies.[1]

Despite their colorful wings, which fast and concise movements perhaps would only allow us to get a glimpse on the elaborate patterns, designs, and chromatic combinations that some species display. Like other organisms, butterflies are prone to mimicry. They can resemble a flower, a tree or look like fallen leaves in the northern autumn or in the tropical rain forest. Their unassumed beauty and familiarity can transform a solitary spot in a forest into a site for spiritual introspection and delight. It is not accidental that the angel of death was represented by the Gnostics as a winged foot stepping on a butterfly. Psyche, the Greek goddess represented through butterfly wings, prompted psychoanalysis’ interpretation of lepidoptera as symbols of resurgence.[2] Butterflies also dwell on Mesoamerican iconography, in particular the Mexica of Tenochtitlan, which considered them as the fleeting souls of deceased warriors.

Beyond the realms of natural sciences and entomology, lengthy literature on lepidoptera proves their aesthetic allure and symbolic potency as the paradoxical insects with wings that they are. From opera to social sculpture, butterflies inspired metaphoric interpretations that transcend the binary model of gender and sexuality as well as the polarities of life and death.[3] Martin Johnson Heade represented a Blue Morpho type in perhaps one of the most arresting paintings ever made of a living butterfly in which two of its wings, expose a singular iridescence while the other ones, slightly bent towards the left, were depicted in black as if they belong to the afterlife. The background shows a fantastic landscape that leads us to the equinoctial regions so keen to the nineteenth century art travelers influenced by Alexander von Humboldt.[4] But as Vladimir Nabokov observed, butterflies are largely unnoticed by people.  Nabokov, who suffered a severe pneumonia at a very young age, lost his “monstrous gift of numbers that had made me a child prodigy during a few months (today I cannot multiply 13 by 17 without a pencil and paper; I can add them up, though, in a trice, the teeth of the three fitting in neatly); but the butterflies survived (…)” According to the writer, a year later he “gained absolute control over the European lepidoptera as known to Hoffmann.”[5]

Intriguingly, artist Gabriel de la Mora showed an unusual disposition to play with language at a very young age. Comparable to Nabokov’s gift of numbers and his skills to solve complicated mathematical operations, which the Russian American writer characterized rather as “a demon”, de la Mora can read straightforwardly a sentence backwards and disorganize a word to compose an instant riddle. Dyslexia prompted him to perceive words as images, fragments in magnified dimensions: “cuando no entiendes la información que tienes enfrente o que escuchas, inmediatamente se convierten en imágenes, en fragmentos, en ruido, en sonidos y en un sinfín de cosas que no tienen nada que ver con la realidad de los contenidos o las cosas (…) Veo las letras y los números de una forma diferente, me fascinan ambos y siempre he visto a las letras, los números, las palabras y las matemáticas de una forma diferente.” [1]

De la Mora’s early works after graduating from the Pratt Institute were under the spell of language as a problem to be solved through visual forms and transitional objects. More recently, he dedicated his artistic investigation to renovate the language of modernist abstraction using bodily elements such as human hair for his Capilares non-representational drawings, and egg shelves, feathers, and butterfly wings to compose geometric, monochromatic, or hard-edge paintings.[2]

Gabriel de la Mora’s new Lepidoptera series composed of thirty-three works made of eight different species of butterflies, seem to complete a cycle of difference in which the artist merged modernist lessons by Joseph Albers with his own propensity to isolate fragments as compositional elements for transforming images into a scribbled discourse. If the Mexica mythologies added a cultural layer to De la Mora’s formal endeavor of bringing the opalescence of butterflies to abstract painting, their unnoticed beauty appealed as a language in which color always hides the nature of the element that you see. Mimicry is their “demon” or to put it in words by Roger Caillois: “it is not the presence of the elements what is perplexing and decisive, it is their mutual organization, their reciprocal topography.”[3]

Gabriela Rangel
Independent writer and curator based in Brooklyn

https://www.perrotin.com/exhibitions/gabriel_de_la_mora_-lepidoptera/7625

https://leaflet.perrotin.com/view/173/lepidoptera

 

 

[1] Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory. An Autobiography Revisited. Vintage International, New York, 1989
[2] J.E Cirlot, Diccionario de símbolos. Editorial Siruela, Madrid, 2011. p. 306-307
[3] It’s been stated that the Parangoles (wearable paintings) by Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica were influenced by his collaboration as a research assistant to his father’s work as a distinguished entomologist. The young Oiticica classified specimens and performed other tasks.
[4] Blue Morpho Butterfly (1863-64), Christal Bridges Museum Collection.
[5] Op. Cit. 123
[6] Interview with the author. August 2021.
[7] De la Mora began using human hair in figurative drawings made in 2005. The works created a narrative with children. See: Sergio Rodríguez Blanco, Alegorías Capilares. Trilce Ediciones Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Instituto de Bellas Artes, Monterrey, México. 2011.

[8] Caillois, Roger, and John Shepley. “Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia.” October 31 (1984): 17–32. https://doi.org/10.2307/778354.

 

Solo show

Gabriel de la Mora : El poeta es el autor que desaparece… @ Museo Francisco Goitia / 08.07. 2021

Jul.08.2021 - Mar.27.2021
Museo Francisco Goitia

I draw these letters
as the day draws its images
and blows over them and does not return
Writing, Octavio Paz

 

The poet is a creator who disappears behind his work, says Octavio Paz.  This condition is necessary for the reader to complete the poem, since the images can only be freely interpreted when they have been separated from their author. Paz ponders with Heraclitus that it is the logos itself that is manifested in the poem and, through its matter, the individual subjectivity of the author is not expressed, but the voice of all humanity. Similarly, in the works that comprise the series The Sense of Possibility, by Gabriel de la Mora, the artist gives place to nature, which literally acts on the canvases.

These pieces were conceived as a response to the environmental deterioration caused by our industrial and extractive activities. During a visit to Monterrey in September 2015, De la Mora documented the gradual deterioration of Cerro de las Mitras, where there are deposits of raw materials for the manufacture of cement. The series consist of landscapes and seascapes acquired in antique and flea markets – decorative pieces, by forgotten or unknown authors, perhaps as a result of quasi-industrial production lines – that were exposed to the elements for different periods of time.

The process reverses the meaning of outdoor painting: that idyllic figure of the painter in the field that popular culture tends to regard as the ultimate attempt to capture the essence of the landscape. Here nature is imposed on the pieces: the wind, the sun, the humidity, hailstones and changes in temperature act on the pieces to transform them. They have ceased to be a representation of the landscape to become an indication of the presence of nature and its effects. In them the tension is manifested between the practice of painting with its claim to eternity –the image that fixes the moment to stop time, the technique that has developed the materials that try to prevent the decay of the pictorial object– and the deterioration caused over time, a slow, almost imperceptible erosion that has been halted and stabilized again.

The pictorial image is an instant charged with subjectivity that De la Mora turns into a device at service of memory, understood according to the philosopher Manuel Cruz1, as a human glance about the world, as an instrument to see reality from another perspective. However, the procedure that the artist has used causes a double negative, each of these pieces is the representation of a landscape that is no longer there, and at the same time, it is a representation that disappears: it is the erased memory of an absence indicating that the memory is always on the verge of oblivion.

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Solo show

Gabriel de la Mora: Unearthing the mirror

Jan.21.2021 - Feb.27.2021
Sicardi Ayers Bacino

Solo show

Gabriel de la Mora: Originallyfake

Feb.04.2020 - Feb.14.2021
Museo Nacional de Arte / MUNAL

Solo show

Gabriel de la Mora: Neornithes

Jun.15.2020 - Jul.11.2020
Timothy Taylor, London

Timothy Taylor is delighted to present Neornithes, a new body of work by Gabriel de la Mora. Referring to the taxonomic description for modern birds, Neornithes represents the culmination of de la Mora’s investigations into the role of biological material as both medium and metaphor.

https://www.timothytaylor.com/exhibitions/gabriel-de-la-mora-neornithes/

https://timothytaylor.com/

Solo show

Gabriel de la Mora: ÉCHO

Oct.12.2019 - Dec.21.2019
PERROTIN, Paris

Perrotin presents Gabriel de la Mora’s first exhibition at our Paris location. De la Mora is a conceptual artist based in Mexico, whose work explores alternative modes of image-making. He works in a diverse range of materials including eggshells, sound screens, human hair, and found objects. The artist’s serial work constitutes a structure of mirror images, echoes, and repetitions.

https://www.perrotin.com/exhibitions/gabriel_de_la_mora_-echo/7867
https://www.perrotin.com/

Solo show

Pentimento: Gabriel de la Mora / Sofie Muller

Sep.05.2019 - Nov.02.2019
PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

The exhibition by Gabriel de la Mora (Mexico City, 1968) and Sofie Muller (Ghent, 1974) explores the passage of time and its impact on nature and human beings. The exhibition is configured as a dialogue between Muller’s sculptures and Gabriel De la Mora’s paintings, where the concepts of deconstruction and decadence coexist. Gabriel de la Mora presents a series of found landscapes that were made with oil or acrylic between 1950 and 1990 in Mexico. De la Mora exposes these paintings to the elements for a certain period so that the sun, changes in temperature, acid rain, and other climatic phenomena transform or disappear —partially or completely— the original landscape they represented. With this process in which time and nature take on an important role, de la Mora makes an analogy to the damage caused by a man on the landscape; for this purpose, he mentions: “just as man destroys nature, nature will destroy the representation of nature made by man and will return it to nature”. The title of each piece indicates the days when these paintings were exhibited, which mainly represented mountains or views in which lakes, rivers, and oceans appeared, spaces that suffer the effects of climate change and pollution caused mostly by humans. Sofie Muller, for her part, presents pieces made with alabaster – wounded, cracked and scarred heads – that reflect the deterioration of the human body over time as a consequence of a life defined by struggle, manipulation, personal experience, and the wounds. These pieces that are fragile, poetic, and brutal at the same time are placed on the floor, gently laid on a worn pillow, or suspended on the walls. The sculptures appeal to the study carried out by the artist on the manipulation of the human body and the concept of “manageable human”; Furthermore, Muller exhibits a series of drawings made with blood on alabaster that appeal to the fragility of the human body through the use of natural and organic materials. The overall result is determined by the age of the material used.

http://proyectosmonclova.com/exposicion/pentimento/
http://proyectosmonclova.com/

Solo show

Gabriel de la Mora: Inevidencias

Apr.25.2019 - Sep.01.2019
Casa de México en España

Starting April 25, you have a new appointment with Mexican contemporary art at Casa de México. We inaugurated the exhibition Inevidencias, by Gabriel de la Mora.
This exhibition brings together works from three different series by the Mexican artist Gabriel de la Mora. Being a consequence of each other, these series allow observing the development of the work of an artist who has sought to explore painting, drawing, and sculpture from a radical subversion of the bases and procedures of these disciplines.
At the same time, the exhibition allows us to get closer and know the work processes that the artist performs in his study of Mexico City, characterized by a meticulous and obsessive exploration of the infinite possibilities that iterations and repetitions allow.

https://www.casademexico.es/detalle-evento/5cac9cb441570e76f00fb467

Solo show

Gabriel de la Mora: TNTR AA

Mar.02.2019 - Apr.13.2019
PERROTIN, New York

Perrotin New York is proud to host Gabriel de la Mora’s first exhibition with the gallery. The unique methods and materials de la Mora uses—feathers, eggshells, and human hair, in this case—stem from the artist’s decision to “quit painting” in 2004. The result has been an exploration of alternative modes of image-making, wherein seemingly minimal and often monochrome-looking surfaces belie great technical complexity, conceptual rigor, and embedded information.

https://www.perrotin.com/exhibitions/gabriel_de_la_mora_-tntr-aa/6618
www.perrotin.com

Solo show

Gabriel de la Mora: Técnicas y Contextos

Sep.14.2018 - Nov.14.2018
Pinacoteca de la Universidad de Colima

This exhibition is organized by the Pinacoteca of the University of Colima to show the works of Gabriel de la Mora that are part of the Collection of the University of Colima and the Secretary of Culture of the State of Colima.

Solo show

Gabriel de la Mora: Entropías

Feb.01.2018 - Apr.01.2018
Proyectos Monclova

Solo show

Crystals of Inevidence / Cristales de Inevidencia

Sep.07.2017 - Oct.19.2017
Sicardi Gallery

Gabriel de la Mora: Crystals of Inevidence / Cristales de Inevidencia

September 7 – October 19, 2017

Sicardi Gallery

www.sicardigallery.com

Solo show

Gabriel de la Mora: Sound Inscriptions on Fabric

Jul.15.2016 - Sep.02.2016
The Drawing Center

Solo show

Serial

Mar.18.2016 - May.07.2016
Timothy Taylor / Londres

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