Gabriel de la Mora: Fragmentxs | Timothy Taylor

I’ve featured the Mexican artist Gabriel de la Mora on here before, when I visited his show at Perrotin in Paris in 2019. Then as now, I was impressed by his “craft and obsession”. In Paris, I saw works in which he used shoe soles and eggshells, layered up and tesselated, to make semi-abstract patterns.

The eggshells are back, here at Timothy Taylor in London, and are joined by works made from tiny blown-glass mirrors and, most arrestingly of all, butterfly wings, painted over in acrylic but not to the extent that they lose their uncanny, alien-like iridescent shimmer. In each work in the latter series, de la Mora arranges the wings into a circular form on a different-coloured, square format background. They suggested to me a rising sun, or maybe a nazar, an evil eye pendant that wards off hostile glances.

Gabriel de la Mora ‘1,984 He.Le’ (2023)

Not that I’d ever give one of those to this artist’s works: I’m a fan, and my fandom only deepened in this show. Timothy Taylor tends to put a standout work above the fireplace on its first floor gallery, in prime spot next to the window. So it is here, with 1,984 He.Le, pictured above.

Hebomoia leucippe is an Indonesian species, whose males have striking two tone wings: orange on the top, yellow on the bottom. In this stunning work, de la Mora separates the two, suggesting a smoggy yellow sun on a fiery background, a mini-golden hour that blazes and shimmers out at us from the wall.

The painstaking, obsessive meticulousness that would be required to create such a work takes nothing away from its quicksilver sublimity, the instant transportation we as a viewer get just by looking at it. de la Mora’s considerable skill is to pull off this subtle artistic trick, again and again.

Gabriel de la Mora: Fragmentxs is at Timothy Taylor (London). 31 August - 30 September 2023