The Cuban-American artist Jorge Pardo made his name in the late 1990s with colourful, exuberant works that set out to question the distinctions between fine art, architecture and design. He’s created sculptures and murals, designed furnishings, built houses and remodelled public spaces – one of his earliest shows was of playfully reworked handyman’s tools.
His latest exhibition at Victoria Miro gallery in north London (from February 2 to March 24), features, on the ground floor, pictures made from layers of laser-cut birchwood and MDF and, upstairs, a series of striking, large-scale chandeliers cut from plastic-resin sheeting.
“Victoria and I have admired Jorge’s work since seeing his amazing installation, which transformed the vast first floor at the DIA Foundation’s 22nd Street building in New York, in 2000,” says Glenn Scott Wright, director and partner at Victoria Miro. “We have had numerous conversations over the years, and so the exhibition is the fruition of a lengthy relationship. Jorge harnesses a number of different creative and formal languages, and encourages us to re-evaluate our understanding of objects, images and architectural space.”
Pardo, who was born in Cuba in 1963 and brought up in the United States, now lives and works in Mexico, and has taken inspiration for the colours and textures of his chandeliers from the jungle landscape near his home in Mérida, as well as from the canal-side garden at Victoria Miro. From a design resembling a burst of sunshine to a shape reminiscent of a sea anemone and a glowing green structure that sits on the floor, the chandeliers play with the light, casting shadows around the room and changing the way one experiences them as the day progresses.