20/01/2016 - 30/03/2016
Galería Elvira González is pleased to announce
the exhibition of work by Juan Muñoz, a key figure in the revitalization of the
human figure as a motif in contemporary sculpture. The exhibition, which opens
on January 20th, will mark the first show of Muñoz’s work at the
Juan Muñoz includes a selection of sculptures, paintings and prints, dating from the
early 90’s to 2000.. Taken together, the work in the exhibition offers a
focused and intimate glimpse of Muñoz’s unique vision.
Muñoz’s work bridges the gap between classical and
avant-garde sculpture. In the early 90’s, he began to introduce narrative into
his work, staging scenes, creating spaces and presenting groups of sculptures
that theatrically interact with each other. In the process, Muñoz established
himself as one of Europe’s most innovative artists.
The sculptures in the exhibition, in resin and
polyester, belong to Muñoz’s mature period, and include work that has never
been exhibited in Spain previously, such as Two figures, one laughing at one hanging (2000) and Two figures looking
to a mirror dated 2001.
Muñóz’s sculpture presents itself to the spectator
as a challenge to his or her very existence. It brings together classical
tradition with contemporary concepts into imagery that, whether in isolated
figures or in groups, invokes solitude, alienation and the lack of
communication as inescapable components of the human condition.
Juan Muñoz (Madrid, 1953 - Ibiza, 2001) briefly studied architecture at the
Polytechnical Institute of Madrid, later studying painting and print-making in
the United Kingdom. In 1982 he traveled to the United States where he studied
at Pratt University in New York, and where he came into contact with Richard
Muñoz’s early influences included Naum Gabo,
Pevsner, early Henry Moore, Robert Smithson, Giorgio de Chirico and Richard
Serra. With numerous exhibitions in Europe and the US and in cities such as
Chicago, New York, London, Madrid, Zurich, Washington and Bilbao, by the
mid-80’s Muñoz had established himself as one of Europe’s leading new artists.
Muñoz received Spain’s National Fine Arts Award in
2000, and in 2001 he transformed the colossal Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
in London (the first Spanish artist invited to do so) with his architectural
installation Double Bind. The installation, which was to be Muñoz’s last,
is considered one of his most important works, synthesizing all his central
concerns: solitude, the articulation of space, reflections on the nature of
identity, and difficulties of communication.
In addition to his sculptural work, Muñoz also expressed
himself in other media, such as drawing, music, radio and literature,
collaborating with figures such as John Berger in a radio piece and with
musicians such as Gavin Bryars, Bill Hawkes and Alberto Iglesias. Muñoz’s
artistic fertile and wide-ranging artistic output was interrupted by his sudden
and untimely death on August 28th, 2001.