Lisson Gallery

The Spanish sculptor Juan Muñoz exhibited works at Lisson Gallery throughout the 1980s and 1990s, notably taking part in shows such as the group exhibition 'Then and Now' (July - September, 1998) that included Art & Language, Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, On Kawara, Anish Kapoor, Richard Long, Julian Opie, Michelangelo Pistoletto and many others. He participated in a collaborative exhibition with Rodney Graham in 1993. This work, 'Study for the Prompter' appeared in the artist's first solo exhibition in 1987.

In conversation with Jean-Marc Poinsot in 1987, Muñoz wrote: "Someone, a few months ago, mentioned to me that he could see, in my work, a dangerous, excessive bent towards literature. Although it worried me for a while, I retorted, in my defence, that yes indeed, I was a storyteller. And though this answer first seemed like taking a great leap, I am now gradually becoming used to the notion. However, I do not view myself as a maker of images. Any one of the works I produce exists in its relation to history, and bears the discursive stamp of sculptural speech. I spoke a little while earlier of Zurbarán’s still lifes; I should have added, regarding this alienation of objects, that what urges me to go back and see them again is not so much their realistic character as my definite belief in their materiality. I think one may also talk of the history of sculpture in the same sense. Nevertheless, the truth is that whenever I’ve had to choose between visiting a big art museum or a museum of archeology, I’ve always chosen the latter.
Between the windows, the objects are being referred to themselves, as well as to the necessity which shaped them. There aren’t so many indications as to what to see and how to see it. Everything is more contradictory and thus, ultimately, richer in possibilities. I see Julio González in this line of thought, as teeming with unresolved complexities, baffled by a Modernism which he himself helped to develop, even while he went on drawing traditional subjects. Maybe he was doing that to prevent himself from forgetting. Thinking of González evokes an image of those Spanish explorers who were looking for a river that would enable them to penetrate inland, sailing for days up the Amazon which, because it was so huge, they mistook for the sea."

Juan Muñoz in conversation with Jean-Marc Poinsot, July 1987, Sculptures de 1985 à 1987, CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, 1987

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