Kunsthalle Wien presents artists Rene Matić (b.1997, Peterborough, UK) and Oscar Murillo (b. 1986, La Paila, Colombia) together for the first time at the exhibition JAZZ.


For JAZZ. both artists present existing works as well as new commissions made specifically in response to the space and the city of Vienna. Encompassing painterly gestures, installation, film, photography, and sound, each element on show is in dialogue, shaped by Murillo’s black canvas installation which is suspended from the ceiling throughout the space.


Together, through dissection and reconciliation, both artists explore the impossibilities and contra­dictions that arise from notions of desire, visibility and opacity.


While in some ways the practices of Matić and Murillo seem rather complementary to one another, they also overlap in important aspects. For instance, the gestural painting, reminiscent of action painting, that is so often at the heart of Murillo’s work is akin to the use of dance and dancing in Matić’s videos, as they both share a spontaneous, unboth­ered and unscripted nature.

At Kunsthalle Wien, Oscar Murillo’s large-scale black canvases—a recurring element—fully develop their impressive architectural dimension. Suspended from the ceiling to create an almost labyrinthine structure, they carefully shape the space, allowing for intimate encounters with the works. While their intense darkness may elicit a sense of danger or perhaps mourning, this darkness can also be a space that breeds new life and rebirth.


Coming from differing vantage points and mediums, both artists employ gesture and abstraction within their practices. Murillo chooses the social over the subjective and the collective over the individual, while Matić’s practice is often grounded in the personal. Additionally, both artists succeed in carving out a space of independence for themselves in a cultural context that is determined to classify and smooth out everything and everyone. By creating room for discontinuous and new thinking they reformulate one’s (art-)historical narratives and genealogies.

The title JAZZ. evokes many resonances and qualities within each artist’s practice. It could be understood as a mode of artistic collaboration but also of reception: one where cultural sensibilities are blended, improvisation takes place, group interaction becomes as vital as the individual voice. JAZZ. nods to concepts of desire, of consumption of the Other, it plays with performativity while retaining the right to opacity.


JAZZ. Exhibition by Rene Matić and Oscar Murillo.

Kunsthalle Wien.

March 14th through July 28th, 2024.

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