Juan Muñoz "Sculptures"

Skarstedt Gallery

poster for Juan Muñoz "Sculptures"

This event has ended.

Skarstedt Gallery presents "Sculptures" by Juan Muñoz. This exhibition is comprised of a selection of the artist’s iconic sculptures from the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Juan Muñoz belongs to a generation of artists that dominate contemporary figurative sculpture and installation. The artist regarded himself a “storyteller,” making his sculpture a means by which to tell his stories. Muñoz treated each installation as unique believing a different context gave the works new power and meaning. His reoccurring characters, the dwarfs, the Chinese figures, the people on the balconies perform as actors rather than individual sculptures. One of his main concerns throughout his career has been the interplay between the figure and the surrounding architecture. His work, and in particular his large-scale installations, explores just that.

Many Times is a work that evolves out of Muñoz’s “conversation pieces.” Similar figures were first seen in the Palacio de Velazquez in Madrid, for the centerpiece installation, Square (Madrid), as part of an exhibition Muñoz staged there in 1996. These almost life-size, foot-less figures stand on their cut-off trousers interacting with one another in varied postures of gesticulation and conversation. Despite their uniformity in clothing and facial expression, signifying the stereotypical Western view of different ethnic groups, in this case the Chinese, Muñoz is able to create an ongoing and ever-fluctuating narrative simply through the body language of his figures and in turn their own juxtaposition in space.

Muñoz was a master at breathing new life into old and stereotyped motifs exemplified in such works as the solitary Krefeld Dwarf. The simple human presence of a lone dwarf is rejuvenated and despite his small stature, he stands alone with such gravitas, reminiscent of the dwarfs in Las Meninas by Velazquez, one of Muñoz’s heroes. Informed by Velazquez’s work, Muñoz referenced the important role of the dwarf in the Spanish court of the time: "The dwarf was the only person that could criticize the court, because of his physical distortion, he was allowed to distort or exaggerate reality."

[Image: Juan Muñoz "Krefeld Dwarf" (1989) bronze, 34 x 17 x 13 in. Photo credit: Volker Döhne, Kunstmuseen Krefeld]



from May 03, 2012 to June 09, 2012


Juan Muñoz

  • Facebook


    All content on this site is © their respective owner(s).
    New York Art Beat (2008) - About - Contact - Privacy - Terms of Use