Mario García Torres “La Paradoja del Esfuerzo”

Dates: Jun 28 – Jul 27, 2024
Location: Taka Ishii Gallery (complex665)
Opening reception: Friday, June 28, 17:00-19:00

Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition “La Paradoja del Esfuerzo” by Mario García Torres, a conceptual artist based in Mexico City. Over the last two decades, García Torres has never stopped transgressing the rigidity of the role commonly assumed for the artist in society through a diverse range of media including video, sound installation, painting, sculpture and drawing. García Torres explores art history and individuality in relation to conceptual art of the 1960s and 1970s. His works take a poetic narrative approach and draw attention to the still unexplored gaps in art history, and by juxtaposing and interacting with unexpected fiction and reality, they highlight ambiguities in memory and understanding, encouraging a renewed consideration of wider issues we face today.

“La Paradoja del Esfuerzo” is a monumental work by García Torres that further expands bidimensional works made with toner. This painterly series, which has been developed through several years, is made by pouring toner—a runny dust composed of microscopic grains normally used to make photocopies—over canvas. As direct records of an irreproducible accident, the series negotiates gesture and environment, capturing the slightest changes in the particles’ drift.

The twenty-two canvases were created specifically to fit in Taka Ishii Gallery, entailing a number of the artist’s interests throughout the career; like time, repetition and the defense of ideas related to mistakes and failure. One could say, these monochromes are time-based works: a narrative emerges as the material progresses over the surface, from top to bottom, and from one side of the room to the other. An effort has been made to try and copy the design on the previous canvas, generating a work that is both aesthetically powerful and that suggest the atmosphere or re-enactment and speed.

The series subtly cites historical bodies of work by the artists that García Torres had already dedicated works to: Robert Smithson pouring asphalt over land, Alighiero Boetti photocopying the rain, and in this specific installation to Andy Warhol’s Shadows; the size of each canvas on display corresponds to the mentioned work. The photocopier—a near-obsolete technology, like film and slide projectors—was adopted by artists since immediately after its inception in the 1960s. Conceiving these works as monochrome paintings, García Torres strips its emblematic material of its associations with a deadpan machine aesthetic and cheap reproducibility, focusing instead on its erratic nature and on the impossibility of its reproduction outside the machinery.

Mario Gracía Torres was born in Monclova, Mexico in 1975 and received his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2005. His recent solo exhibitions include Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey (2021); Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2020); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2018); WIELS, Brussels (2019); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2015); Pérez Art Museum Miami (2014); Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2013); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2010); and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2007). He has also participated in numerous international exhibitions including Manifesta 11 (2016); the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014); dOCUMENTA(13), Kassel (2012); São Paulo Biennial (2010); Taipei Biennial (2010); Yokohama Triennale (2008); and Venice Biennale (2007).

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