Denver, Colorado,
15:20 PM

First Exhibition to Chart Evolution of Eamon Ore-Giron’s Practice to Open at MCA Denver in February 2022

Eamon Ore-Giron: Competing with Lightning / Rivalizando con el relampágo explores the artist’s engagement with cultural hybridity over two decades of painting

Exploring the complex layering of identities, histories, and artistic legacies that have influenced Eamon Ore-Giron’s approach to painting, Eamon Ore-Giron: Competing with Lightning / Rivalizando con el relampágo at MCA Denver marks the first presentation to examine the artist’s trajectory over more than 20 years of creative practice. On view February 16 to May 22, 2022, the exhibition follows the progression of Ore-Giron’s paintings since 2002 with an emphasis on recent works in abstraction that place this painting tradition within a broader and more complicated history of form in the Americas. Featuring more than two dozen works, most of which have not been seen publicly before now, Eamon Ore-Giron: Competing with Lightning / Rivalizando con el relampágo culminates with an immersive presentation of six new paintings from the artist’s Infinite Regress series created specifically for the exhibition.

These stunning large-scale paintings rendered with metallic gold on raw linen draw upon an international discourse of geometric abstraction that spans centuries, incorporating references that range from ancient Andean architecture to twentieth-century modernism.

“Ore-Giron is a groundbreaking artist who challenges the rigidity of boundaries to catalyze new ways of seeing and understanding,” said Nora Burnett Abrams, Mark G. Falcone Director of MCA Denver. “It is an honor to be the first museum to showcase different chapters of this artist’s incredible practice, embodying Ore-Giron’s creative risk-taking and MCA Denver’s commitment to pushing the cultural conversation in new directions.”

“The emergence of abstraction in the U.S. has largely been understood as deriving from twentieth-century modernism and related movements such as Abstract Expressionism,” said Miranda Lash, Ellen Bruss Senior Curator of MCA Denver. “Ore-Giron challenges this narrative with references to modernist elements alongside pre-Columbian sources and contemporary indigenous culture that recontextualize abstraction within a more expansive tradition of artistic creativity in the Americas.”

Providing further opportunity to unpack the broader history of abstraction, the Ore-Giron survey will be presented simultaneously with Speaking to Relatives, a major solo exhibition of mixed-media works by Minneapolis-based artist Dyani White Hawk. This ten-year survey of painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installation organized by the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, presents White Hawk’s unique merging of the visual language of abstraction with Lakota art forms.

As an artist, musician, and DJ, Ore-Giron examines the personal and historical ramifications of cultural hybridity. Raised in Tucson, Arizona, he is inspired by his roots in the American Southwest, his visits to his father’s hometown of Huancayo, Peru, and his time spent as a practicing artist in California and Mexico. This exhibition brings together for the first time three pivotal chapters in Ore-Giron’s career:

  • Figurative works from the early 2000s, which draw upon his roots in the American Southwest and his familial ties to Peru to create a surreal world where North and South American cultures and traditions freely intermingle.
  • Paintings from his Talking Shit series from the late 2010s and a new painting from 2021, in which Ore-Giron explores the generative possibilities that emerge from re-imagining Pre-Columbian deities and how they are interpreted in contemporary society.
  • Sublime paintings from Ore-Giron’s recent, ongoing body of work, the Infinite Regress series, begun in 2015. In these paintings, the artist’s view toward the past is further transmuted into a language of abstraction and a deep engagement with the symbolic, historical, and ritualistic meanings associated with gold.

Additionally, Ore-Giron is creating a new, site-specific 44 x 18-foot mural in MCA Denver’s second-floor Vicki and Kent Logan Promenade Space. The exhibition will also include a sound installation featuring music-based work by Ore-Giron, including seminal tracks he created as DJ Lengua, and hand-woven tapestries from his Talking Shit series.

Ore-Giron (b. 1973) lives and works in Los Angeles, California, and his artwork has been featured in the exhibitions Eamon Ore-Giron: Non Plus Ultra, through February 20, 2022, at the Anderson Collection at Stanford University; Soft Power at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2019); Made in L.A. 2018 at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and a solo exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia (2005), among others. His work as part of LOS JAICHACKERS, a two-person collaborative with Julio César Morales, has been shown at Pérez Art Museum Miami (2013) and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2008), and in Prospect.3, New Orleans (2014). Ore-Giron has been selected to realize major public commissions by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and LA METRO for subway stations in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, respectively.

Exhibition Organization

Eamon Ore-Giron: Competing with Lightning / Rivalizando con el relampágo is organized by MCA Denver. The exhibition is curated by Miranda Lash, Ellen Bruss Senior Curator of MCA Denver.

Exhibition Catalog

Eamon Ore-Giron: Competing with Lightning / Rivalizando con el relampágo will be accompanied by a catalog published by Rizzoli, which will be the most substantial publication on the artist to date. This vibrant volume is the first to present the evolution of Ore-Giron’s dynamic paintings and practice over the past three decades. Organizing curator Miranda Lash and scholars C. Ondine Chavoya and Jace Clayton, aka DJ /rupture, explore Ore-Giron’s approach to de-colonizing the medium of painting, his impact within the California art scene, and his seminal work as a musician and DJ who highlights the intersections between North and South American sounds. The publication was made possible with generous support from The Fries Foundation.