Born in Colombia and based in various locations, Oscar Murillo (b. 1986) is known for an inventive and itinerant practice that encompasses paintings, works on paper, sculptures, installations, actions, live events, collaborative projects, and videos. Taken as a whole, his body of work demonstrates a sustained emphasis on the notion of cultural exchange and the multiple ways in which ideas, languages, and even everyday items are displaced, circulated, and increasingly intermingled. Murillo's work conveys a nuanced understanding of the specific conditions of globalization and its attendant state of flux, while maintaining the universality of human experience.
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. In 2018, the build-up of content and information, presented at David Zwirner’s Hong Kong gallery, was the artist’s first solo show in Asia. In 2019, Manifestation, which was held at the gallery’s London location, marked Murillo’s fifth solo show with David Zwirner.
From November 8, 2019 through January 26, 2020, a solo presentation of the artist’s work, titled Oscar Murillo: Horizontal Darkness In Search of Solidarity, will be on view at the Kunstverein in Hamburg, Germany. Additionally, Murillo is one of four artists shortlisted to win the 2019 Turner Prize. This year’s Turner Prize exhibition will be held at Turner Contemporary, Margate, England, from September 28, 2019 through January 12, 2020.
Also in 2019, a two-person exhibition with Tony Cokes, Collision/Coalition, was on view at The Shed, New York. Earlier this year, the dual solo shows Oscar Murillo | Zhang Enli were presented at chi K11 art museum, Shanghai, and OSCAR MURILLO: Violent Amnesia was on view at Kettle’s Yard at the University of Cambridge, England.
Murillo's works and projects have been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent institutions worldwide. In 2017- 2018, a solo exhibition of the artist’s work was on view at Haus der Kunst and was accompanied by a comprehensive monograph published by the museum in association with David Zwirner Books. In 2017, presentations were also held 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. The project is currently on view at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Bretton, England, through November 3, 2019.
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.