I first encountered Celes Orozco’s paintings at a 2019 exhibition (reviewed here). His style has evolved in some new directions since then, so it’s time to document some of the stages he has moved through. The boundaries in these stages of development are fluid, but I’ve organized them, perhaps somewhat randomly, into groups that make sense to me (an interested party with no formal training in art). Make what you will of them, reorganize them into different groups as suits your own fancy, or just enjoy. And note that I use “evolution” loosely, as there is nothing immature about the earlier 2019 works; it’s just that every time I see his work, it seems to have moved in some new and interesting direction.
From the 2019 exhibition
- Some of the paintings at this exhibition struck me as “cosmic abstracts.”
Untitled 1 Untitled 2
2. Some struck me as Orozco’s own expression of surrealism. For this style, I’ll give one full painting with a detail from that painting.
El niño y la serpiente
Detail from El niño y la serpiente
- Some paintings from the 2019 exhibition struck me as a third style – with some overlap with the surrealism to be sure, but fundamentally different in effect. These I’ll call “primal landscapes” (or “archetypal landscapes” if you prefer).
Since the exhibition, I’ve noticed some new stylistic departures for Orozco, at least in my own aesthetic register.
- One thing I noticed is that some of the more recent paintings call attention to the hand of the artist, the way the artists is applying the paint to create the world. I’ll call this the “stroke and mosaic” group, insofar as what captivates is the manner of brush (or hand) stroke or the mosaic effect.
- The “stroke and mosaic” group might also be called the “particle/wave” group, insofar as the images come at you in particles (above right) or waves (above left). A related variation, but again one that I find fundamentally different in effect, I’ll call the “marbling and glaze” group. Here, some representational forms are still depicted or suggested, but the marbling and glaze of the style is what seems to define the world view and viewer response.
So again, please play with or revise my groupings in whatever way best brings to corpus to life for you. I reserve the right to revise them myself, based on whatever interesting byways come up in Orozco’s continuing body of work.
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