Gabriel Kuri creates sculptures that embody questions of value, arresting usually intangible flows of information in witty and engaging forms. His practice is strikingly material and his exhibition at WIELS adopts material as its organizing principle, sorting his works into four categories: paper, plastic, metal, and construction materials. This is an absurdly simplistic approach to complex, conceptually driven works that are rarely made of just one element.
Kuri gathers his resources from a variety of sites before combining them in a manner that draws upon tradition of assemblage with a nod to Surrealist montage, fusing references from his native Mexico with his adopted home, Belgium. His exhibition at WIELS – his first institutional solo show in Brussels, where he has lived for the past 16 years – highlights the hybrid nature of his playful work. It will comprise over 60 works, including new pieces produced for the occasion, revealing both the diversity of Kuri’s formal approach and the consistency of his underlying themes: notions of commercial and cultural value, consumerism, as well as material and its poetic (mis)use.
The exhibition is accompanied by a book featuring an introduction by senior curator Zoë Gray and an essay by art historian Cathleen Chaffee (Chief Curator, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo), and four texts exploring the materials of the show by Brian Dillon (author, lecturer at RCA London and editor of Cabinet Magazine, Brooklyn). It is designed by OK-RM (London) and published in English with translations in French and Dutch.