Like a latter-day Frank Lloyd Wright, Jorge Pardo has devoted himself as an artist to creating entire living environments as well as individual works. Always eager to explore aesthetic possibilities at the intersection of technology and craftsmanship, Pardo was one of the first sculptors of his generation to bring advanced computer technology into the art studio so as to exponentially expand his vision. The result is an exuberant synthesis of technology and thought fashioned into colourful sequences and combinations of life-enhancing objects of reflection.
Pardo's most ambitious projects to date are houses conceived as works of art: sculpture as site-specific architecture. His first such commission was a horseshoe-shaped house in Los Angeles titled '4166 Sea View Lane' (1998) lit with 110 hand-blown biomorphic glass ceiling lamps. Pardo describes ‘House' (2008) in downtown Merida, Mexico, the artist’s current home, as "a building transformed into a sculpture that is also a place of residence.” 'Tecoh' (2012), is an extensive series of new and adapted buildings made for a collector and built on the ruins of a 17th century Hacienda in the Yucatan. A utopian estate blending Mayan culture with ultra-modern design, Pardo installed his exuberant tiled surfaces and signature ceiling lamps throughout the property, which includes several adobe-walled guest cottages with roofs made from traditional thatched native palm fonds. Described by Pardo as "architecture without a program,” Tecoh marries the skills of highly trained local craftsmen using traditional techniques with the infinite possibilities of computer technology.
The commission of a new series of wall mirrors, tables and cabinets, fabricated in his studio in Merida for the David Gill Gallery, follows the Mayan Baroque idiom of 'Tecoh.' This “Hall of Mirrors" reflects groups of people as if multiplying their everyday rituals. Each oval mirror is framed with a constellation of twelve cerebral head scans of writers and thinkers including Hal Foster, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, food writer Jonathan Gold, and the great art critic of the modernist era, Clement Greenberg. Cut on a CNC router, a series of concentric lines are offset from a cross-section of each critic's head into an abstract pattern that amplifies the natural irregularities in the shape of the skull. "The patterns are random,” says Pardo. “When I work with patterns and colour my interest is density of irregularity. It's a simple system, which is really not much of a system: I choose a shape to disperse colour and any combinations of colour work.”