Artist Profile: Gabriel Kuri
Commissioned Artist for the Armory Show 2011,
By Dianne Bowen
Mexican-born, Belgium-based artist Gabriel Kuri, whose work has been widely shown in important international group shows, including the 5th Berlin Biennal (2008); Brave New Worlds at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2007) and at Colección Jumex, Ecatepec, Mexico (2008); and Unmonumental at New Museum, New York (2007) was selected to be the commissioned artist this year for The Armory Show. Recent and upcoming shows include Gabriel Kuri-Soft Information in Your Hard Facts at Museion, Bolzano; Join the Dots and Make a Point at Kunstverein Freiburg, Freiburg, traveling to Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld; and Gabriel Kuri: Nobody needs to know the price of your Saab at The Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, traveling to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Kuri’s work was featured in all its printed matter including the official Jack Spade limited edition canvas bag with his image of a purchase receipt. His works were also on view in the booth shared by Franco Noero and Esther Schipper.
Gabriel Kuri’s consequential sculptures and collages are made from combining everyday found or purchased remains with marble, steel and other incongruous materials. These unexpected poetic combinations question the meanings of the materials and their possibilities for interpretation, addressing concepts such as hard and soft, assumption of fact, value and procession. In his piece, Untitled, 2007, several silhouettes of indigenous women carrying baskets or pots on their heads with ticket stubs collaged above the baskets, the silhouette of a man in the background ahead of them against a blue evening sky. The stubs appear as signifiers of value to both the contents and the people. Questioning our responsibility and participation both as a society and individually within these value systems. The man’s ambiguous intentions held in his gate, thin legs and somewhat distended belly. The images hold many interpretations layers of implications quietly unfold.
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