Juan Munoz: Seven Rooms - Hanging Figures | David Zwirner
Hero image of Hanging Figures as part of Juan Muñoz: Seven Rooms

“You can talk about verticality in formal terms but also in symbolic terms. The verticality of hanging figures … was a way of dealing with the gigantic distortion that happens when you look up.”

—Juan Muñoz

Juan Muñoz in Madrid, dated 2001. Photo by Hugo Glendinning

Juan Muñoz in Madrid, 2001. Photo by Hugo Glendinning

Juan Muñoz in Madrid, 2001. Photo by Hugo Glendinning

These three individual sculptures belong to Muñoz’s body of work in which figures are suspended in the air, hanging acrobatically in space. By positioning them skyward, Muñoz again borrows from Borromini, inciting the viewer to look up as they traverse the gallery.

A suspended sculpture by Juan Muñoz, titled Hanging Figure, dated 1997.

Juan Muñoz

Hanging Figure, 1997
Polyester resin, cloth, and motor
55 1/8 x 33 7/8 x 26 3/4 inches (140 x 86 x 68 cm)
A background image of a CTA button displaying an installation view of the exhibition titled Juan Muñoz: Seven Rooms, David Zwirner, New York, dated 2022

Installation view, Juan Muñoz: Seven Rooms, David Zwirner, New York, 2022

Installation view, Juan Muñoz: Seven Rooms, David Zwirner, New York, 2022

A suspended sculpture by Juan Muñoz, titled Hombre Colgado de la Boca, dated 2001.

Juan Muñoz

Hombre Colgado de la Boca, 2001
Polyester resin, cloth, and motor
55 1/8 x 33 7/8 x 26 3/4 inches (140 x 86 x 68 cm)

The work was inspired by Edgar Degas’s Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando (1879), which Muñoz encountered during his many visits to The National Gallery in London. Similar to Degas, Muñoz frequently found inspiration in the performing world and specifically the circus, finding parallels in the conceptual performance inherent in the artist’s own creative practice.

Edgar Degas, Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando, dated 1879

Edgar Degas, Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando, 1879

Edgar Degas, Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando, 1879

An installation view of the works Hanging Figures featured in the exhibition titled Juan Muñoz: Seven Rooms, David Zwirner, New York, dated 2022

Installation view, Juan Muñoz: Seven Rooms, David Zwirner, New York, 2022

Installation view, Juan Muñoz: Seven Rooms, David Zwirner, New York, 2022

A suspended sculpture by Juan Muñoz, titled Figure Hanging from One Foot, dated 2001.

Juan Muñoz

Figure Hanging from One Foot, 2001
Polyester resin, cloth, and steel cable
63 x 31 1/2 x 19 3/4 inches (160 x 80 x 50 cm)
$Additional Caption$

One of the last works Muñoz completed before his death in 2001, Figure Hanging from One Foot presents another iteration of the Hanging Figure motif. Here, the figure hangs not from his mouth but from the foot, recalling Goya’s Los Desastres de la Guerra (Disasters of War) (1810–1815).

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, Los Desastres de la Guerra – No. 39, dated 1810

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, Los Desastres de la Guerra – No. 39, 1810 (detail)

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, Los Desastres de la Guerra – No. 39, 1810 (detail)

An installation view of the exhibition titled Juan Muñoz: Seven Rooms, David Zwirner, New York, dated 2022

Installation view, Juan Muñoz: Seven Rooms, David Zwirner, New York, 2022

Installation view, Juan Muñoz: Seven Rooms, David Zwirner, New York, 2022

Installation view, Juan Muñoz: Double Bind & Around, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, dated 2015

Installation view, Juan Muñoz: Double Bind & Around, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, 2015

Installation view, Juan Muñoz: Double Bind & Around, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, 2015

Installation view, Juan Muñoz at the Clark, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, dated 2010

Installation view, Juan Muñoz at the Clark, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 2010

Installation view, Juan Muñoz at the Clark, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 2010

“The underlying matter is a horrifying though sometimes subterranean aggressiveness, which can be seen as a key to Muñoz’s analysis of the human condition. Here are scenes resembling the most extreme productions of modern theatre and apparently devoid of any relation between the imaginary persons on the ‘stage’ and the spectator.”

—Manuela Mena, curator of Museo Nacional del Prado

An installation view of the exhibition titled Juan Muñoz: Seven Rooms, David Zwirner, New York, dated 2022

Installation view, Juan Muñoz: Seven Rooms, David Zwirner, New York, 2022

Installation view, Juan Muñoz: Seven Rooms, David Zwirner, New York, 2022

A background image of a CTA button displaying an installation view of the exhibition titled Juan Muñoz: Seven Rooms, David Zwirner, New York, dated 2022

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