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25 Jul 2019

Damián Ortega: Porous Structures

Gladstone Gallery

Reviewed by John Pyper

Using various forms of dirt to present various forms of space, Ortega's structures describe the types of nature that are man-made. These sculptures are somewhere between sites and deposits. Bricks and different kinds of clays push out like volcanoes and pull down like valleys. The stand-alone sculptures that resemble scholar's rocks are nice enough, but fade into the background compared to Ortega's Irregular Emplacements (2019), a seven-foot tall mountain of sand with a cutaway gap that divides it into halves.

In many ways, this is a rival to Urs Fisher's "You,” which converted the gallery into an excavation site. Additive in nature, Ortega's project is site-specific but also portable and reproducible. It questions accumulation, rather than digging through the gallery to uncover what is hidden. Instead of ripping into sedimentary layers, it creates them, creating an adult-sized toy mountain. Seeing the strata of greed reveals stockpiling for what it is: depraved.

Exhibition Damián Ortega: Porous Structures link
Start date 01 May 2019
End date 08 Jun 2019
Presenter Gladstone Gallery link
Venue 515 West 24th Street, New York City, NY, USA map
Image Damián Ortega: Porous Structures, installation view, courtesy of Gladstone Gallery

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