Angel Orensanz

Angel Orensanz‘s new exhibition is here in New York City, right at the Angel Orensanz Foundation. Three weeks from now, the gallery will be open for you to see his bronze sculptures, drawings, and paintings in our gallery’s new exhibition, Burning Bronzes.


Until then, how about getting more acquainted with Angel‘s work? The internationally known French art critic Pierre Restany wrote a beautiful article about the Spanish artist that exposes the ways Angel Orensanz explores the ideas of movement, presence and absence. The article is available here.

ANGEL ORENSANZ, by Calvin Reid
A respected artist for more than 40 years, Orensanz has produced a body of work ranging from large abstract sculptures with humanist overtones to a series of conceptual installations and performances that whimsically address social and geopolitical conflict.
The latter works invoke his own brand of pacifism idiosyncratic vision of a multicultural, interdependent world community. Angel Orensanz has done a series of quirky public performances. Beginning in 2001, the performances were conducted in Venice, Florence, Tokyo, New York City, Berlin, Madrid, Paris and elsewhere.
They offer a personal response to the specter of war and suffering. These acts most vividly embody the artist’s engaging sense of transnational fellowship and spiritual introspection. Orensanz constructed a large, man-sized transparent plastic sphere that he rolled through the streets of these legendary cities — sometimes pushing it along from behind, sometimes walking inside the giant globe and moving it forward. He loaded it on a gondola and traveled the canals of Venice; at other times the sphere was parked in historic locales such as Piazza San Marco or at the Brandenburg Gate. While the sphere is on view Orensanz and the people he encounters paint and mark up its surface.
The portable globe is like a giant existential snowball that grows metaphorically larger as it picks up layers of historic and symbolic grit and grime. In his catalogue essay, Thomas McEvilley provides a brisk and lucid examination of Orensanz‘s work and the history of the Norfolk Street center and points to the significance of the sphere in classical Greek philosophy.
Orensanz is out to metaphorically link his personal and ancestral wanderings to the great international venues of human civilization. Hanging in the venerable Norfolk Street building, his work evoked yet another revolution — it reconnected the historic transit between the old world and the new embodied in New York‘s Lower East Side. Orensanz offers himself as a kind of shambling figure, a delightful modern Sisyphus relentlessly pushing a scarred and sagging globe through the miseries and triumphs of human history.
Calvin Reid. February 2003
Calvin Reed is an art critic for “Art in America“, where this piece appeared in February of 2003.
September 12, you will be able to enjoy Angel Orensanz works in the Angel Orensanz Foundation!

There are only three days left until the biggest event of the year, The Olympic Games! Are you excited for it? What sport do you enjoy the most? Unfortunately art is not in the Olympics anymore, but that is no reason for Angel Orensanz not to participate in London 2012, of course in his own unique way.

His ritualistic sphere that has traveled all over the world with him now stops in London, more specifically at The Hundred Years Gallery for his take on this year’s games. The renowned Spanish artist cares about issues like cultural difference and identity and works with that in his art.

His first exhibition with the sphere was in Venice, where he did “Burning Universe”, in which he walked the 8.5-feet in diameter transparent plastic sphere thought streets, as well as in a Gondola. In the same year, Angel Orensanz was invited to expose in Tokyo, where he installed his ball and performed in front of the Senso-ji temple, which was destroyed by American bombs on the World War 2 and reconstructed by the Japanese after the war. Florence was the next destination of the sphere, this time by invitation from the Biennale. The sphere has rolled the world, Berlin, New York, Madrid, Barcelona, and now London.

Aristotle once said “perfect things move in circles” and Angel has truly taken that to heart, using his sphere in different ways for his art. He sees it as a symbol of perfection, of the fullness of being, and of totality, and he plays with the various interpretations of its meanings by making it represent many things in his performances: sometimes throwing it playfully into the sky, sometimes leaving it on the floor, sometimes painting it sometimes leaving it transparent, sometimes, even sealing himself inside it and transporting himself into the art.

The opening of his exhibition in the London gallery will happen the same day as the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, and such as the sphere the Olympics have traveled the world. Also, if you see a sphere from the front, it looks like a circle, or better, a ring, which reminds us of the Olympic symbol, the interlocking rings, that “represent the five parts of the world which now are won over to Olympism and willing to accept healthy competition”, the creator of the symbol Baron Pierre de Coubertin affirms.

Healthy competition, cultural difference, cultural identity, it can all be tied to Angel, so it is no wonder he is there with a site-specific exhibition celebrating the Olympics.

The Olympics started centuries ago, in Greece, as a way to bring all the cities together and showcase the abilities of their athletes, the principles are still the same, but the Olympics have now traveled the world and added more sports. Between 1912 and 1952, it even added the arts to it. But the idea was dropped because artists were considered to be professionals, while Olympic athletes were required to be amateurs. Angel Orensanz certainly is a professional, and he wants to be part of the biggest event of the year.

He is presenting the worldly travelled piece “Cosmology”, his transparent (but always painted accordingly to the situation) giant sphere in a site-specific performance on the day of the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics of 2012, informally known as London 2012. The performance will occur on the Hundred Years Gallery, in London.

The sphere is the signature of the internationally known Spanish artist. And can be seen in a lot of his performances, in fact, performances that are often related to world events ( no wonder he wants to be part of the Olympic games, the biggest happening of the year). Since the 90´s he has been involved with the political and cultural happenings around the world, in a series of exhibitions that are both a part of himself and a reflection of universal emotions. Most of this works manage to include his sphere, a half-transparent, man-sized, partially painted ball that Angel Orensanz pushes, pulls, suspends, raises, lowers o simply appears with at various venues around a little larger sphere known as globe.

Sources: hundred years gallery, thevillager


There has been a lot of talk about Higgs Bosom, the particle that may give others mass. The reason? This particle, that is one of the most important missing pieces of the complicated puzzle that is nature, has, supposedly been finally discovered by the scientists at CERN. And Angel Orensanz wants to be part of the discovery.

After spending time in Barcelona (his exhibition Time, Space and Innovation is still up on University of Barcelona), Angel Orensanz has gone north in Spain to a place where the sun always shines and the waves constantly hit the sand: Costa Brava.

He has been there before, in fact, has been carrying out experiments in Costa Brava for many years. One that many people can still recall vividly was his take on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, when he reconstructed a deep water bed of the gulf.

Angel Orensanz, actually, often makes his takes on the happenings of the world and this time he goes back to this beautiful location to pay his homage to the discover of Higgs Boson,  with transparent silk in various colors and geometric shapes.   An aesthetic recurring in Angel‘s works.

Today , the Angel Orensanz Foundation will talk about his idealizer Angel, and take you in a journey of the exhibitions the artist did in the country he was born, Spain. The artist moved to NYC in the 80,s. He feel in love with the abandoned synagogue in 172 Norfolk St. , in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and bought it. In 1992 it opened as the Angel Orensanz Foundation, a base for Angel to work and also a center for the arts. But he was never bound to a place; Angel traveled the world with his art and eventually was drawn back to Spain.

In fact, the Spanish sculptor has been exposing in the european country since 67, but that is just a little too long ago, so lets focus on the big installations of the last ten years.  In 2006 he did a exhibition in Castile, near Madrid, a two square kilometers depiction of Don Quijote and his fabled horse into the old land of Castile, where Cervantes envisioned him five hundred years ago. The show was made possible with the support of locals, something Angel always try to incorporate in his work.

“After a full year of international abuzz about Cervantes’ Don Quijote; after thousands of shows and lectures, political posturing and cultural ruminations, I thought that it was time to release Don Quijote itself into the very land where his creator placed him.” – Angel Orensanz

Two years after, in 2008, he celebrated one of his favorite forms, the sphere with the implementation of a 15 feet diameter sculpture piece in front of the World Trade Center, in the capital city of Aragon, Zaragoza. The sculpture traveled until its final destination in a parade of civic pride and art celebration and the crowds flanked the center of the city and the avenues en route to the sculpture’s destination.

 “It is the most universal concept in human culture, from Parmenides to Einstein. This one in steel is a final version of a transparent one that I built in New York, and rolled down Fifth Avenue, from the Metropolitan Museum to City Hall to mourn the tragic events of September 11. This sphere portrays a new world in constant transition and redefinition of itself,” – Angel Orensanz

From the capital of Aragon, he went to the capital of Spain, Madrid, where he exposed in the Museo del Traje, the exhibition called Paradigmas, invaded the museum’s extensive gardens, with site-specific sculptural installations. The bright and colorful fabrics hang from the trees, are intertwined in the entrance’s rotunda and enmeshed in the fountains, inviting the viewer to observe the constant dialogue that takes place between the artist and nature.

Finally, his most recent work in Spain is still visible in the University of Barcelona, more specifically in the gardens (Angel is fond of nature and the relationships in can create) of its historic building, in Barcelona, where Angel is exposing the exhibit  “Time, Space and Innovation”

Sources: prweb, ub, angelorensanz 

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