Biography

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, incrusted 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.

Muñoz lives and works in Cali, Colombia.
 

Quote

“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?”

Selected Solo Exhibitions

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

2015Oscar 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: Biografías, University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque, NM, USA

Oscar Muñoz, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey (MARCO), Mexico

portrait(self)portrait, Prince Claus Fund Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2012 - 2014:Oscar Muñoz: Protografías, Jeu de Paume, Paris, France; Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia; Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI), Lima, Peru; Museo de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia; Museo de Arte del Banco de la República, Bogotá, Colombia; Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogotá, Colombia; Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), Buenos Aires, Argentina; Museo de Arte del Banco de la República - Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, Bogotá, Colombia

2006 - 2014Biografías (Biographies), University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque, NM, USA; Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Recife, Brazil; The Mandes & Arts Festival, Johan Deumens Gallery, Haarlem, The Netherlands; Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; Claustro del Convento de Santa Clara, Cartagena, Colombia

2012: Oscar Muñoz, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX, USA

High Line Art, New York, NY, USA

Ambulatorio (Draw Down the Walls), Belfast, Northern Ireland

2008 - 2012: Oscar Muñoz: Imprints for a Fleeting Memorial, The Visual Arts Center of Richmond, VI, USA; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC, USA; La Galerie de I’UQAM, Montreal, Canada; Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto, Canada

2010: Oscar Muñoz: Volverse aire, PHotoEspaña 2010 / PHE10, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Sala Goya, Madrid, Spain

2008 - 2009: Oscar Muñoz: Mirror Image, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth, Australia; Institute of International Visual Arts, Rivington Place, London, UK

2009: The Disappeared, University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie, WY, USA

Oscar Muñoz, Bildmuseet, Umeå, Sweden

Oscar Muñoz, OK Centrum für Gegenwartskunst, Linz, Austria

2008: Documentos de la amnesia, Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, Badajoz, Spain

2006: 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; Feria de Video Arte, LOOP Barcelona, Spain

2004: Ambulatorio-Re/trato, FotoFest 2004, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX, USA

2003: Oscar Muñoz, TEORéTICA, San José, Costa Rica

2002: Oscar Muñoz, The Ends of Process, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX, USA

Oscar Muñoz, Narcisos, Aliento, Centro MEC, Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, Montevideo, Uruguay

1996: Oscar Muñoz, Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogotá, Colombia

1995: Narcisos, Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia

1990: Superficies al Carbón, Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia. Cali, Colombia

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

Oscar Muñoz’s work has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including: Project Video, Sicardi Gallery (2013); Cantos Cuentos Colombianos, Casa Daros, Rio de Janeiro (2013); 19 New Acquisitions, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013); Six Lines of Flight, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco (2012); About Face: Portraiture as Subject, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin (2011); Cosmopolitan Routes: Houston Collects Latin American Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2010); The Graphic Unconscious, Philagraphika: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (2010); Al calor del pensamiento, Colección Daros Latinamerica, Fundación Banco Santander, Madrid (2010); Changing the Focus: The Art of Latin American Photography, Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach (2010); The Dissolve, Site Santa Fe (2010); North Looks South: Building the Latin American Art Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2009); Crónicas de la ausencia - Óscar Muñoz y Rosângela Rennó, Museo Tamayo de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2009); The Disappeared, Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá (2008); Venice Biennale, Venice (2007); Indelible Images, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2006); Re-aligning Vision: Alternative Currents in South America, Huntington Art Gallery, Austin (1998), and many others.

Selected Public Collections

Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH, USA

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, D.C., 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, D.C., 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