FRIEZE NEW YORK 2019
RUBÉN ORTIZ TORRES
MAY 3 - 5, 2019
Royale Projects is proud to return to Frieze New York participating in the curated section, Diálogos, which honors El Museo del Barrio's founding in 1969. Diálogos will reflect the museum’s long-standing mission of presenting and preserving the art and culture of Latinx and Latin American artists with the aim of bringing together a selection of galleries from across the United States and Latin America.
New work by Rubén Ortiz Torres explores the formal qualities of his painting and sculptural practice while presenting a subversive statement on power hierarchies through visual tropes of wealth, politics, influence, coercion and control.
Ortiz Torres’ conceptual practice implicates minimalism and modernist abstraction by using the aesthetics and resourceful qualities indicative of lowrider culture. Where elegance meets anarchy, valuable and hyper aestheticized surfaces produced with precious metals, candy colors, flakes, and chromaluscent paint form impactful critiques on contemporary society.
Within the booth, the artists’ large-scale abstraction, Chrysopoeia, references the alchemic process of the transmutation of other elements into gold, introducing acquisitiveness as a thematic thread. Transformation into this hallowed element can also be seen in a lime-green minimalist cube, akin to Larry Bell or John McCracken, that metamorphose through touch. Emblematic of the violence and corruption caused by the war on drugs, a mangled truck hood, taken from a Mexican police junkyard of vehicles damaged by conflict with the cartels, hangs on the wall. Contrasting the rough, oxidized surface, the auto component is modified with a fetishized finish and continues Ortiz Torres’ critique of formal abstraction with reference to artists such as John Chamberlain and James Turell. A painting of an American Flag made of gold leaf and resin boldly reconsiders the symbol of the nation as the epitome of power-holder’s avarice.
Widely recognized as a pacesetter of postmodernism, Ortiz Torres’ work is in significant collections internationally including Los Angeles County Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, Mexico; La Colección Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico; Mexican Museum of Fine Arts, Chicago, IL; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Metropolitan Museum New York, NY; The Tate Modern, London, UK; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; The Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ; The Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA and The Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.