Basel Online: 15 Rooms - Basel Online: 15 Rooms - Oscar Murillo | David Zwirner
A detail of a painting by Oscar Murillo, titled (untitled) surge, dated 2019 to 2020.
Oscar Murillo
A portrait of Oscar Murillo by Joo Youngsun, dated 2016.

Oscar Murillo, 2016. Photo by Joo Yongsung

Oscar Murillo, 2016. Photo by Joo Yongsung

Oscar Murillo’s (b. 1986) surge works are composed of layers of oil-stick marks, built up on the canvas to create a thick impasto of paint, often obscuring content and information beneath. Referencing water’s ability to flow indiscriminately without regard to maps or borders, these paintings speak to one of the artist’s central concerns: cultural exchange. Murillo’s surge works debuted at Kettle’s Yard in 2019, a presentation that led to the artist’s nomination and eventual win for last year’s Turner Prize, which he shared with the other short-listed artists.

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An installation view of a painting by Oscar Murillo, titled (untitled) surge, dated 2019-2020

Oscar Murillo

(untitled) surge, 2019–2020
Oil and oil stick on canvas and linen
94 1/2 x 129 7/8 inches
240 x 330 cm

“[I’m] thinking about mark-making and crystalizing mark-making in relation to my energy…to my own anxiety as an individual. And how I can tweak that, calibrate it, and make sure that how I make paintings is not simply an exercise but how does it enter into a dialogue with a canon, a Western canon of making painting.” —⁠Oscar Murillo

An installation view of the exhibition, Oscar Murillo: Violent Amnesia, at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, dated 2019.

Work by Oscar Murillo in Turner Prize 2019, Turner Contemporary, Margate, England

Work by Oscar Murillo in Turner Prize 2019, Turner Contemporary, Margate, England

“I want them to come into the show and skip a heartbeat. To think about beauty and power, and what art can do.” —⁠Oscar Murillo

A portrait of Oscar Murillo working in his studio in La Paila, Colombia, in 2020.

Oscar Murillo working in his studio in La Paila, Colombia, April 2020

Oscar Murillo working in his studio in La Paila, Colombia, April 2020


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