Gabriel Kuri

Untitled (Il est temps)

“Kuri reveals himself a master at placing something where we were sure there was nothing.”

Evan J. Garza, Art Papers

As one of the rising stars in the Mexico City art scene, Gabriel Kuri has taken cues from Gabriel Orozco, Francis Alÿs, and the Arte Povera movement, focusing on repurposed found objects, or “readymades”, to imbue them with associations extending beyond their original purpose. [Kuri] doesn't just take ordinary things to create something extraordinary, he keeps them ordinary and asks the viewer to do the heavy lifting,” writes Evan J. Garza in the May/June 2011 edition of Art Papers.

These new juxtapositions disrupt the narrative of transaction in pieces such as Model for a Victory Parade (2008), a conveyor belt with a single empty can placed on top, or Thank You Clouds (2004), where a dozen plastic shopping bags printed with messages of gratitude hang dejectedly from ceiling fans. There are other moments of consumerist absurdity in works such as Waiting, Giving, Spent (2012), consisting of seven oversized paper towel dispensers hovering above a series of comically large matchsticks. In "Nobody Needs to Know the Price of Your Saab," his first solo museum show in the U.S. at The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Kuri used receipts, newspaper, soap, and plastic bags to tell a tale of the global economy.

After a three-year stint in Gabriel Orozco’s workshop, Kuri studied at Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas U.N.A.M. in Mexico City, and Goldsmiths College of Art in London, graduating in 1995 with a MA in Fine Arts.

He lives and works in Mexico City and Brussels.

Additional sources:

E. J. Garza, Art Papers, May/June 2011.

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, press release:

S. Indrisek. Modern Painters , March 2011.

L. Schleussner. Flash Art International, July 2011.

K. Battista. Art Monthly, April 2013

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Works by Gabriel Kuri