THE BLANTON MUSEUM EXHIBITS “INVISIBILIA” BY OSCAR MUÑOZ
This exhibition, curated by Vanessa K. Davidson, Ph.D. and co-organized by the Phoenix Art Museum and the Blanton Museum of Art, is the first retrospective of Colombian artist Oscar Muñoz's work in the United States
Since the late 1980s, Muñoz has sought to reinvent the medium of photography through non-traditional materials and techniques. While he doesn’t consider himself a photographer, Muñoz strives to “hacer memoria”—“make memory”—in his works by turning photographic processes inside out: “I am interested in the instant and the processes that occur so that an image can become consolidated, or not, in memory.” Philosophical at their core, Muñoz’s artworks frequently use ephemeral materials like light, water, fire, and dust to illustrate the fragility of an image as a metaphor for the fragility of life. Although the images Muñoz creates often change or disappear, they stay transfixed in our minds.
Invisibilia spans five decades of Muñoz’s radical career and includes approximately 40 of his most evocative works, in which he combines photographic processes with drawing, printmaking, installation, video, sculpture, and interactive elements. Long overdue, this exhibition invites U.S. audiences to experience the invisibilia behind Muñoz’s poetic and innovative practice with works rarely seen outside of Colombia.
Born in Popayán, Colombia, Oscar Muñoz studied Art at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Cali in the 1970s. As an art student, he began making drawings based on photographic images, and although his studies did not specifically include photography or audiovisual media, these media and their relationships to reality and meaning-making have subsequently become central to his artistic practice. In 2018, Muñoz was awarded The Hasselblad Award in Photography: “In an era of increasing global political uncertainty and heightened states of human anxiety the works of Oscar Muñoz serve to remind us of just how fragile we are. Across the incredible range of work that Oscar Muñoz has produced what is evident is that he is determined for us not to forget the episodes in history that so often get culturally and politically erased” - Mark Sealy, Chair of the Hasselblad Award Jury 2018.
In 2006, Muñoz founded lugar a dudas, a cultural center and residency program for artists. Located in Cali, lugar a dudas (space for doubts) has become a center for young artists to work through ideas and participate in a dialogue and public debate about art and politics.
Oscar Muñoz’s works are represented in several major collections across Argentina, Colombia, France, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.