David Zwirner is pleased to present new paintings by Oscar Murillo at the gallery’s London location. Including examples from several ongoing bodies of work that he seamlessly moves between, the exhibition will highlight the artist’s expansive studio practice and the multiple ways in which he engages with the act of painting.
Murillo’s work will concurrently be on view in a solo presentation at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, in England (through June 23, 2019) and in a two-person exhibition with Tony Cokes at The Shed, New York (June 19 through August 25, 2019). Murillo has been represented by David Zwirner since 2013. This show is his fifth solo exhibition with the gallery.
Image: Installation view, Oscar Murillo: Manifestation, David Zwirner, London, 2019
“What is the role of cultural production? or challenging what the role is of art? in relation to individuals and institutions and people and how they infiltrate themselves. It goes back to distribution and how people link back to societies who all have their own perceptions. As you say this is a liquid environment and works or shows can act to consolidate under a given idea. The perception of the idea is solid for the amount of time of the show, but then dissolves again.” —Oscar Murillo in conversation with Nicholas Smith in Medium magazine, 2017
"I want to think about my practice as an honest offering to a large audience, something that goes beyond performative, symbolic gestures.' He gives me a demonstration of how he works, on one of his new 'catalyst' paintings. He stands on a wooden platform, pulls an unstretched, painted canvas from the floor, then places it, painted side down, on to another one. He picks up a stick and starts to scrawl on the back of the top canvas, so that the impression of the marks is left on both. After a minute he stops, a little breathless. 'I call it a catalyst because it is about action, and reaction,' he says." —Oscar Murillo in conversation with Peter Aspden in the Financial Times, 2019
Oscar Murillo, 2016. Photo by Joo Yongsung
"The canonized archetype of an artist alone in his studio...is one that this artist, refreshingly, does not seem to have much of an allegiance to. For Murillo, the act of making holds as much potential for liberation and functionality within the confines of one’s studio as it does in one’s home, on the street, or within one’s community...The objects made by his hand float buoyantly within the realm of the liminal, always here and there, inside and out, home and abroad, all at once very familiar, and yet, somehow, entirely untranslatable. Murillo’s use of text in his paintings illustrates the limits and the possibilities presented by language; words are part of histories that are not always our own, but that we cling to. The physicality of painting is one that provides a sturdy framework for making the leap into the performative realm." —Legacy Russel, BOMB magazine, 2013
Oscar Murillo is one of four artists shortlisted to win the Turner Prize this year. Murillo has been nominated by an independent panel of judges based on two recent exhibitions of his work: violent amnesia, at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, and Oscar Murillo l Zhang Enli, at chi K11 art museum, in Shanghai, as well as for his participation in the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, We don’t need another hero, in 2018. The other shortlisted artists are Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, and Tai Shani.
This month, Murillo presents new works in Collision/Coalition, a two-person exhibition with Tony Cokes at The Shed in New York. "What we are about to embark on for The Shed is engaging with the architecture of the space," Murillo says; "and also very much continuing an engagement with certain ideas that are much more socially connected."
Image: Installation view, Collision/Coalition, The Shed, New York, 2019
"From paintings to installations, Murillo’s play with radical synthesis is vital to his practice. It relates to an artistic tradition developed in the twentieth century that is tied to an increasingly collaged urban experience…He paints in sections on the floor of his studio, often leaving the canvases to gather dust, dirt, stains, and footprints, which then form part of the final work, revealing a contemplation of time and accumulation… As with all collage and the provisional relationships it allows, Murillo’s paintings push and pull. Attention and connotations twist in divergent directions across both space and time. This relates, once again, to the accelerating fluidity in our contemporary period…a swamp of images, productions, and information that diffuses borders…Attempts to understand artistic practice through action and labor are present throughout his process, including his laborious approach to painting, of which he says, ‘paintings are by-products of being in the studio and making work.’ Marking, dyeing, cutting, and stitching canvas comprise the physical activity needed to reflect on the notion of work, its place and displacement in the world." —Emma Enderby, "Meaning Belongs to People", Oscar Murillo, 2017