The Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego presents the first solo show in California of contemporary Mexican conceptualist Gabriel Rico (b. 1980, Lagos de Moreno, Mexico), recipient of the Proyecta Award for Production from the Secretary of Culture of the state of Jalisco, Mexico.
Through a special collaboration with the San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat), the artist will incorporate taxidermy specimens from the beloved institution’s collection into the exhibition at ICA San Diego and a site-specific installation within The Nat’s ongoing Unshelved exhibition.
The artist is known for his sculptures, installations, and poetic assemblages that draw on contemporary culture, nature, science, physics, philosophy, and history. His socially concerned art, (pictured) encompassing a range of materials such as neon, branches, rocks, porcelain flowers, taxidermy, old cell phones, and CDs, considers the relationship between humans and the natural world. On view from September 24, 2021 to January 23, 2022, Rico will present an anthropological installation that transforms the Balboa Park galleries into “a radical vision of this delicate point of human life” during the pandemic via a variety of man-made and natural materials “mixed together” in a visually arresting, surrealist mode. A site responsive work, the artist will create a sweeping, post apocalyptic assemblage of objects sourced locally, including shells, gems, and stones.
“Art acts like a bridge and is a language all of us can understand,” said Rico, who added that he intends for his exhibition to make a strong connection with San Diego County. “I am excited and very honored to present at the ICA, a new pluralistic space for dialogue and to explore our humanity together—not our Americanity or Mexicanity, our humanity.” “Gabriel Rico presents objects outside of their logical use, and we are delighted to share his fantastical vision informed by science, philosophy, and his interest in the natural world, especially the encroaching natural world,” said Andrew Utt, Executive Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego and Curator of the exhibition.
Rico’s work has been exhibited internationally, including at the 58th Venice Biennale’s International Art Exhibition, May You Live In Interesting Times (2019); with recent solo-exhibitions including: Nature Loves to Hide, Perrotin, Paris (2020); The Stone, The Branch, and the Golden Geometry, Perrotin, Seoul, South Korea (2019); The Discipline of the Cave, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, USA (2019); ONE LAW FOR THE LION & THE OX IS OPPRESSION, Perrotin, New York, USA (2017); PROXIMIDAD, The Power Station, Dallas, USA (2017); DEAD, DEAD, LIVE DEAD, ASU Art Museum, Tempe, USA (2017); VIS VIVA, Gyeonggi Creation Center, Ansan-do, South Korea (2016); ZEA MAYS, MAZ (Zapopan Art Museum), Zapopan, Mexico (2015).
The artist is represented by Perrotin, New York and OMR, Mexico City.
This exhibition was made possible with the support of the Buttgenbach Foundation, the Tippett Foundation, Larry Poteet and Debra McGinty-Poteet, Perrotin, and OMR.
Additional support is provided by the City of San Diego, County of San Diego, the Sahm Family Foundation, and the Conrad Prebys Foundation.
Unity in Variety is curated by Andrew Utt and presented by the Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego and the San Diego Natural History Museum.