Juan Muñoz
Spain, 1953
Spain, 2001
Juan Muñoz studied at the Central School of Art (1976-1977) and the Croydon College of Design and Technology (1979-1980) in London. His first individual exhibition was held at Galería Fernando Vijande in Madrid in 1984. His sculpture soon became famous internationally; over the next decade he took part in major group exhibitions ("Chambres d'amis", Aperto 1986, "Theatergarden Bestiarium", "Magiciens de la Terre", "Los últimos días", Documenta IX, etc.) and had individual shows at some of the leading museums and art centres, among them the Capc Musée d'Art Contemporain in Bordeaux, the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno in Valencia, the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea in Santiago de Compostela, the DIA Foundation in New York and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid. In 2000 he won the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas awarded by the Ministry of Culture. An exhibition curator ("Correspondencias", "La imagen del animal") and a writer -of critical and literary texts and about his own work-, he is also a notable draftsman, an activity he conceives separate from his sculptures. His "Dibujos de gabardina" or mackintosh drawings show interiors of empty rooms in which non-communication seems to be hovering in the air. He worked with the musician and composer Gavin Bryars on radio programmes and with writers such as John Berger. Double Bind, his imposing installation for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in London, inaugurated in June 2001, was his last work: he died suddenly in late August the same year. A few weeks after his death, in October, a major retrospective of his work began to travel around museums in the United States.
Armando Montesinos