Curated by: Francesco Stocchi
Memmo Foundation presents from Wednesday 10 November 2021 to Sunday 20 March 2022
Spirits and Gestures, the first solo exhibition in Italy by the artist Oscar Murillo.
Cultural syncretism as a consequence of globalization, together with the functioning and interactions between integrated power systems, are recurring elements in the research of Oscar Murillo, one of the winners of the Turner Prize 2019. In the same year, the Memmo Foundation invited the artist to Rome to visit the city and the spaces of the Foundation, with the aim of giving shape to a new body of works destined for a personal exhibition, in direct response to the context.
In the past two years, while the global health situation had made travel impossible, Murillo developed his project by working from his own studio in Colombia. The exhibition, the result of this long period of work and reflection, includes paintings made in La Paila, which then merged into a site-specific installation created when the artist returned to Rome. The works presented inevitably bear traces of the upheavals that characterized the last period, also placing emphasis on the strong inequities and systematic contradictions of society on a global level, in line with the practice that Murillo has been pursuing for several years.
The installation created at the Memmo Foundation sees the presence of eight unpublished paintings, which continue the research started with the news and surge series.
In the surge series, Murillo presents pictorial backgrounds covered with gestural signs, dense brushstrokes of oil color that float horizontally on the surface of the work; a reference to abstract expressionism, but also an allusion to the erasing force of water. The works on display represent a novelty within the surge series for experimenting with color density. While some paintings are dominated by incisive signs, others bring back lighter touches that let the underlying layers emerge: a superimposition of canvases worked with different techniques and sewn together.