Oscar Murillo’s (b. 1986) work constitutes a sustained and evolving investigation of notions of community, informed by cross-cultural personal ties, as well as the constant transnational movement that has become integral to his practice. Executed in a wide range of media including painting, installation, video works, and actions, Murillo’s work explores themes such as globalization, production and consumption, and labour and migration, and challenges modes of address and display embedded in the contemporary art world.
Murillo earned his B.F.A. in 2007 from the University of Westminster, London, followed by his M.F.A. in 2012 from the Royal College of Art, London. He joined David Zwirner in 2013 and had his inaugural exhibition, titled A Mercantile Novel, at the gallery in New York the following year. binary function marked his first solo presentation at David Zwirner, London in 2015. On view in 2016, the New York gallery presented through patches of corn, wheat and mud, a solo exhibition of the artist’s new work. On view from September 19 to November 3, 2018, the build-up of content and information, presented at David Zwirner’s Hong Kong gallery, was the artist’s fourth solo show with the gallery and his first solo show in Asia.
A solo exhibition of Murillo’s work was recently on view at Haus der Kunst (September 15, 2017 - March 15, 2018) accompanied by a comprehensive monograph published by the museum in association with David Zwirner Books with a foreword by Okwui Enwezor, contributions by Emma Enderby and Anna Schneider, and an interview with the artist by Maria Belen Saez de Ibarra.
Murillo's works and projects have been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent institutions worldwide. Recently, presentations were held in 2017 at CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux and Concorde, Paris and the Yarat Contemporary Art Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan. In 2015, solo shows were on view at the Museo de Arte de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá; Centro Cultural Daoíz y Velarde, Madrid (part of ArcoColombia 2015); and Artpace, San Antonio, Texas. Also in 2015, as part of Performa 15 in New York, Murillo presented Lucky dip, a series of performances and installations that took place over the course of one week at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, an important historical site in downtown Manhattan. In 2014, Murillo’s paintings, sculptures, and video works were presented at 40mcube in Rennes, France, organized as part of the 4th Les Ateliers de Rennes – Biennale d'art contemporain. Also in 2014 a body of work was presented at The Mistake Room in Los Angeles on the occasion of the venue's inaugural exhibition. In 2013, the South London Gallery hosted the artist's first major solo show in the United Kingdom. In 2012, he created paintings on site during a five-week summer residency at the Rubell Family Collection in Miami, which were shown later that year marking his first solo exhibition in the United States. Other venues that have exhibited his works and projects include the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (2016), Showroom MAMA, Rotterdam (2013), and the Serpentine Gallery, London (2012).
For Murillo's ongoing long-term project Frequencies, created in collaboration with members of his family and political scientist Clara Dublanc, canvases are temporarily affixed to classroom desks in selected schools across the globe, encouraging students aged ten to sixteen to create any kind of mark making—drawing, writing, doodling. He debuted the Frequencies project with a large-scale installation of canvases as part of the 56th Venice Biennale: All the World's Futures in 2015. In conjunction, David Zwirner Books published a comprehensive book, standing as a directory of the project to date, which includes reproductions of canvases and photographs of schools and students.
Work by the artist is included in museum collections worldwide, including the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Rubell Family Collection, Miami; and Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.), Ghent.