JP Munro “Blasted Rockface”

Brennan & Griffin

poster for JP Munro “Blasted Rockface”
[Image: JP Munro "Fall of the Rebel Angels" (2018) Oil on canvas 96 x 72 in.]

This event has ended.

Brennan & Griffin presents Blasted Rockface, an exhibition of new paintings by LA based artist JP Munro.

Referencing the dynamited sloped highway paths in the mountains of north Los Angeles, the title of the exhibition shares its name with the sole plein-air landscape painting among the works presented. Acting as a metaphorical entry point for his newest body of work, Munro mines art historical, biblical and mythological subjects that suggest allegorical interpretations and moral lessons. These subjects and narratives are re-deployed by Munro in complex personal visions that unfold simultaneously, ranging from the quasi-heroic to the mundane.

One of three large works in the show, Suicide of Saul, reinterprets Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 15th century painting of the same title. Both paintings depict the biblical account of Saul, King of Israel falling on his sword in order to avoid capture by the Philistines. Munro’s rendition of the painting shares with Bruegel’s a preoccupation with the landscape as it overtakes the epic battle scene and depicts a historical event unfolding while the wider world carries on as normal. A tent village, exotic plants and minuscule figures in imagined ancient costumes are rendered in Byzantine detail, barely discernible within dense layers of staccato brushstrokes of varying shades of green that make up the broad expanse of hills, forests and valleys within the painting.

The two other large works in the exhibition call into question the hierarchy of categories and the relative importance of the personal and the collective. Couple by a Pool, takes its central subject from two minutely rendered figures in Suicide of Saul. Munro enlarges the peripheral figures of the previous painting and they become the focal point of the composition. The figures’ extraction from a grand historical scene is re-contextualized within what is resolutely a genre painting. Fall of the Rebel Angels is an amalgamation of a number of historical paintings, all featuring angels being cast out of heaven. A maelstrom of torqued bodies and hybrid figures recalling heavy-metal art fill the canvas, writhing and tumbling across a searing yellow field. The historical narratives associated with the figures are transformed through Munro’s personal and idiosyncratic vision.

JP Munro lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He has held solo exhibitions at China Art Objects, Los Angeles, CA and Sadie Coles HQ, London, England. Notable group exhibitions include Human Nature, LACMA, Los Angeles, CA, 2006 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of Art, New York, NY, and Defamation of Character, MoMA PS1, Queens, NY. Collections include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum of Art, New York, NY, and the Henry Art Museum, Seattle, WA. This is his first exhibition with the gallery.



from September 05, 2018 to October 14, 2018

Opening Reception on 2018-09-05 from 18:00 to 20:00


JP Munro

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