Gama 1976-1984

Studio Orta - 0.1976_140_210

Date: 1976 - 2000
Materials: Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 140 x 210cm | 55 x 82 inch
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta

Gama translates from Spanish as ‘range of colours’, with infinite hues and scales of intensity. Jorge Orta began working on the Gama series in the mid-70s, under the pressures of public silence imposed during the oppressive dictatorial regime; it was one of his many coded methods of alternative communication.

Orta's work during this period has different layers of meaning and intention. In Gama, each colour is a combination of colourmetric, methodological and historical indicators that can be social, political, geographic, or even climatic. Each colour can also be identified and duplicated according to its corresponding international colour code. In the same manner that an industrial paint-chart is mass-distributed to suppliers, Jorge Orta imagined Gama as an art of infiltration, accessing peoples' homes, and especially the households of the conservative bourgeois whose artistic knowledge was limited, and taste for decoration nauseating. As well as insipid colours and colours of frustration, Orta also created colours of hope, colours for young people, and colours for people seeking social justice. Gama mocks a corrupt and narrow-sighted system, yet it is powerfully dramatic because it reflects the extreme reality of contemporary art in Rosario.