Having moved office to just behind the Tate Modern, I’m getting a lot more out of my membership. This week I popped down to see two exhibitions in my lunch hour, the Gabriel Orozco and, no less impressively, a new selection from the permanent collection, ‘Photographic Typologies’.
I’d like to hope this is an engineered coincidence and not a happy accident, because reading the two exhibitions together really draws out a theme of typology, pattern and repetition in Orozco’s work which is not really explored in the exhibition notes. Photographic Typographies is a more than competent narrative of the genre from the early, almost botanical, detached taxonomies of August Sander, through the elevation of the banal pioneered by the Bechers industrial documents to the elegant abstraction of Sugimotos Theatres. Sadly his Seascapes weren't included, but given their size they would have dominated the show which wouldn’t have squared with the narrative of the exhibition.
Orozco’s pieces have most in common with the Bechers work, drawing meaning and relevance from the seemingly banal by pulling them together into a collection - ‘Until You Find Another Yellow Schwalbe’ or indeed, in the case of ‘Four Bicycles (There is Always One Direction)’ a single object.
Well worth a visit, but make sure to see them both. I might write a little more about this another time. I’m sure you’re on tenterhooks…..