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Biography

OSCAR MUÑOZ  (b. 1951, Colombia/Lives in Colombia)

“How can one construe a notion of time in this immemorial setting? How can one assimilate and articulate in one’s memory all these events that have been happening for so many years now?”


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.

Muñoz is also known for his use of ephemeral materials in poetic reflections upon memory and mortality. For example, Aliento (1995-2002) consists of a series of seemingly blank mirrors. However, when the viewer comes close to them and breathes on them, subtle obituary portraits emerge momentarily on the surface. Muñoz’s video Re/trato (2004) shows the artist painting a self-portrait with water. As the water makes contact with the hot pavement Muñoz is painting on, the portrait vanishes. Muñoz often bridges the media of film, video, photography, installation, and sculpture

In the 1980s and 1990s, Colombia was wracked with a war between feuding drug cartels and the Colombian government. Muñoz’s installation, Ambulatorio consists of a large aerial photograph of that city printed on a sheet of shattered security glass. Viewers walk on top of the glass floor, looking down upon the city. The work was inspired by a bombing; walking through Cali after the bomb exploded, Muñoz was fascinated by the prevalence of fragments of glass encrusted into the pavement. The work has subsequently been re-made in Belfast and in Monterrey. “My work today,” Muñoz writes, “is based on my endeavor to understand the mechanism developed by a society which has ultimately suffered the routinization of war… A past, a present and in all likelihood a future full of violent events on a daily basis, which are stubbornly repeated, in a practically identical fashion.”

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.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2021
Oscar Muñoz: Invisibilia, Phoenix Museum of Art, Phoenix, AZ, USA; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX, USA

2018
Oscar Muñoz. Hasselblad Award 2018. Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenburg, Sweden

2017
Oscar Muñoz: A Traves Del Cristral, Mor Charpentier, Paris, France
Oscar Muñoz: des/materializaciones. Fundación Sorigue, Lleida, Spain
Oscar Muñoz, Antología - Museo Rayo - Museo de dibujo y grabado latinoamericano, Roldanillo

2016
Oscar Muñoz: El Coleccionista (The Collector), Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX, USA

2015
Oscar Muñoz: Sedimentaciones, University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Institute for Research in Art, College of the Arts, Tampa, FL, USA
Oscar Muñoz: Atramentos, Tabacalera, Promoción del Arte, ARCO Madrid 2015, Madrid, Spain

2014
Oscar Muñoz: Biografías, University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque, NM, USA; Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Recife, Brazil
Oscar Muñoz: Protographies, Jeu de Paume, Paris, France
Oscar Muñoz: Protografías, Banco de la República, Bogotá, Colombia
Oscar Muñoz: Sedimentaciones, University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL, USA
Oscar Muñoz: Protographies, Jeu de Paume, Paris, France
Oscar Muñoz, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey (MARCO), Monterrey, Mexico
Oscar Muñoz: Sedimentaciones, University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL, USA
Portrait(self)portrait, Prince Claus Fund Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2013
Oscar Muñoz: Protografías, Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia; Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI), Lima, Peru
Oscar Muñoz: Eclipse, Casa Daros, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Oscar Muñoz: Re/trato, High Line Art, New York, NY, USA

2012
Oscar Muñoz, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX, USA
Oscar Muñoz: Protografías, Museo de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia; Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), Buenos Aires, Argentina
Oscar Muñoz: Imprints for a Fleeting Memorial, The Visual Arts Center of Richmond, Richmond, VA, USA
Oscar Muñoz: Ambulatorio Belfast, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, UK

2011
Oscar Muñoz: Protografías, Museo de Arte del Banco de la República, Bogotá, Colombia; Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, Bogotá, Colombia
Oscar Muñoz: Imprints for a Fleeting Memorial, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), Winston-Salem, NC, USA
Oscar Muñoz: Biografías (Biographies), The Mandes & Arts Festival, Johan Deumens Gallery, Haarlem, The Netherlands; Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK
Oscar Muñoz: Impresiones débiles, La Fábrica, Madrid, Spain

2010
Oscar Muñoz: Videoworks 2005-2008, Stiftelsen 3,14, Bergen, Norway
Oscar Muñoz: Volverse aire, PhotoEspaña 2010 / PHE10, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Sala Goya, Madrid, Spain
Oscar Muñoz: Anarchive, mor.charpentier, Paris, France

2009
Oscar Muñoz: Mirror Image, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth, Australia
The Disappeared, University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie, WY, USA
Crónicas de la ausencia, Oscar Muñoz y Rosângelo Rennó, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico
Oscar Muñoz: Biografías, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Oscar Muñoz, Bildmuseet, Umeå, Sweden
Oscar Muñoz: Imprints For a Fleeting Memorial, La Galerie de I’UQAM, Montreal, Canada
Oscar Muñoz, OK Centrum für Gegenwartskunst, Linz, Austria

2008
Oscar Muñoz: Mirror Image, Institute of International Visual Arts, Rivington Place, London, UK
Oscar Muñoz: Imprints for a Fleeting Memorial, Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto, Canada
Documentos de la Amnesia, Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, Badajoz, Spain
Inmemorial, Korea Foundation, Seoul, South Korea

2006
Oscar Muñoz, Pori Art Museum, Pori, Finland
Oscar Muñoz: Biografías, Claustro del Convento de Santa Clara, Cartagena, Colombia
Oscar Muñoz, Disolvencias y Fantasmagorías, Museo Municipal de Guayaquil, Ecuador

2005
Proyecto Para un Memorial, Galería Santa Fe, Planetario Distrital, Bogotá, Colombia; Iturralde Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA; LOOP Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

2004
Ambulatorio & Re/trato, FotoFest 2004, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX, USA
Oscar Muñoz, Tres video proyecciones, Galería Alcuadrado, Madrid, Spain
El Puente, Dos video-proyecciones, Galería Alcuadrado, Madrid, Spain
Cámara de Comercio de Cali, Puente Ortiz, Cali, Colombia
The Ends of Process, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX, USA

2003
Eclipse, Sala Comfandi, Cali, Colombia
Oscar Muñoz, TEOR/éTICA, San José, Costa Rica
Oscar Muñoz. Re/trato, Alianza Colombo Francesa, Bogotá Colombia

2002
Oscar Muñoz, The Ends of Process, Sicardi Gallery Houston, TX, USA
Trans-figuraciones, Iturralde Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Eclipse, Galeria Santa Fé, Planetario Distrital, Bogotá, Colombia
Oscar Muñoz, Narcisos, Aliento, Ministerio de Educación y Cultura (Centro MEC), Montevideo, Uruguay

1999
Oscar Muñoz, Throckmorton Fine Art, New York, NY, USA

1997
Oscar Muñoz, Galería Metropolitana de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Oscar Muñoz, Museo de Arte de Pereira, Pereira, Colombia

1995
Narcisos, Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia
Narcisos, Galería Garcés Velásquez, Bogotá, Colombia; Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia
Oscar Muñoz, Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogotá, Colombia

1994
Narcisos, Ledisflam Gallery, New York, NY, USA

1993
Oscar Muñoz: Estudios y Proyectos, Galería de Bellas Artes, Cali, Colombia

1991
Superficies al Carbón, Galería Garcés Velásquez, Bogotá, Colombia

1990
Superficies al Carbón, Sala Suramericana de Seguros, Medellín, Colombia; Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia. Cali, Colombia
Superficies al Carbón, Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia

1987
Oscar Muñoz, Fundación Banco del Estado, Popayán, Colombia
Oscar Muñoz: 15 Años, Cámara de Comercio, Cali, Colombia
Oscar Muñoz, Segundo Festival de Arte 1987, Cali, Colombia
Oscar Muñoz, Galería Época, Santiago, Chile
Oscar Muñoz, Centro de la Municipalidad de Miraflores, Lima, Peru

1986
Oscar Muñoz, Galería Quintero, Barranquilla, Colombia
Arco’86, Galería Quintero, Madrid, Spain
Oscar Muñoz, Galería Arte Autopista, Medellín, Colombia
Oscar Muñoz, Galería Garcés Velásquez. Bogotá, Colombia

1985
Oscar Muñoz, Museo de Arte Moderno la Tertulia, Cali, Colombia

1983
Oscar Muñoz, Cámara de Comercio, Cali, Colombia

1982
Oscar Muñoz, Centro de Arte Actual, Pereira, Colombia

1981
Carbones, Galería Garcés Velásquez, Bogotá, Colombia
Oscar Muñoz, Galería 7, Lima, Peru

1978
Oscar Muñoz, Alliance Franco-Colombienne, Cali, Colombia

1971
Dibujos Morbosos, Ciudad Solar, Cali, Colombia

Selected Public Collections

Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH, USA

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, DC, USA

Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, Bogotá, Colombia

Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX, USA 

Centro Cultural Cajastur, Caja de Asturias Gijón, Spain

Colección Arco, Madrid, Spain

Colección Cisneros, Caracas, Venezuela

Colección Sofia Imber, Caracas, Venezuela

Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zürich, Switzerland

Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, USA

Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain du Centre, Amiens, France

Fundación “la Caixa,” Barcelona, Spain

Fundación El Monte, Caja de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, USA

Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA), Los Angeles, CA, USA

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, León, Spain

Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Colombia

Museo de Arte Moderno de Pereira, Pereira, Colombia

Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia

Museo de Arte Universidad Nacional, Bogotá, Colombia

Museo del Barrio, New York, NY, USA

Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, Extremadura, Spain

Museo Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia

Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), Los Angeles, CA, USA

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Houston, TX, USA 

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, NY, USA

Orange County Museum, Orange County, CA, USA

Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL, USA

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA), San Francisco, CA, USA

Tate Modern, London, UK

Teor/etica, San José, Costa Rica

The Carl and Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation

The University of Colorado Art Museum, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA