Gabriel Orozco: Diario de Plantas (2 Volumes)
by Gabriel Orozco (artist)
Gabriel Orozco is struck by a leaf. He puts that leaf—and six more, for good measure—in his pocket, then sketches them in his diary. April 20, 2022. Orozco has drawn 724 petals, fronds, bracts, needles, every species of flora that has fallen at his feet. Diario de Plantas reproduces, at their original scale, thirty-three of the artist's plant diaries realized between Tokyo and Acapulco, tracing the evolution of his figuration from the geometric realism of biological diagrams to an efflorescent, organic impressionism rendered with the leaves themselves.
Across two volumes printed on bible paper and nestled in a slipcase, Orozco puts the eighteenth-century genre of the botanical travelog to different ends: trading the all-knowing, world-ending encyclopedism of Linneaus and his fellow gentlemen naturalists for an enchantment that approaches what poet Francis Ponge called "l'être végétal" (vegetal being).