Oscar Murillo | binary function | David Zwirner London

October 10 – November 20, 2015

 

A duality between two dialogues – ultimately linked as one – binary function is a title Murillo wants to use as a bigger meaning, a bigger body of work. It is a bringing together of units, a notion to Murillo’s struggle within self / origin and location. It is his first exhibition at the gallery in London, film, sound, sculpture, paintings and drawings are exhibited, each relating to one another through their placement in the space (and some not, like Murillo’s 6 drawings on the second floor not necessarily linking with the storyline of the floor) and the architecture of the gallery (strategically placing a sculptural painting of cream canvas and oil in between two tall windows on the ground floor, working with the entering light). I’d like to describe it as a wonderful journey through Murillo’s work right now. A great introduction to the artists work, concepts and execution.
The placement continues with lighter works on the ground floor, describing even his film ‘Meet me, Mr Superman’ depicting a street scene of celebration in his hometown of La Paila, filmed by the artist on New Years Day (footage put together three years ago). The relative soundscape of the scene is accompanied by a commissioned composed score (again creating a duality for a realisation of reality it may seem and additionally added to realise the work).

I find this fascinating about Murillo’s work. His emphasis is on the meaning of the work and the accompanying tools, but their origin is not necessarily necessary. When asked about the origin of the clay used in his work he mentions its reference to Colombia but does explain it is bought from a standard store, and in addition when asked about the classical composer he worked with for the soundtrack to binaryfunction works, he gives a single-name answer ‘James’. The communicated meaning of the works through the visual and experiential structure are far more necessary to the entire body of work. Through the use of existing references to Murillo’s lifeline (his upbringing in Colombia until the age of 10), snippets of storytelling are unavoidably emotionally connecting. You really feel depth in the works, as you walk through.

The artist surprises with unexpected works such as ‘the catalyst’ (featuring a photograph of his mother in the sugar factory in Colombia where she worked for 16 years, and a clay sculpture depicting hardship (specifically of workmanship, as we all experience hardship in different ways) which the artist always prefers to hang (on the gallery walls) himself. Next to this, works utilising Murillo’s now-signature black canvas are placed (on top of one another and on steel structures, morgue beds) and create a different tone. Here the duality is felt, with darker tones enriched in paintings and sculptures.

A wonderful journey through Murillo’s work right now. A great introduction to the artists work, concepts and execution.

OscarMurillo_2

Oscar Murillo

binary #1, 2015

Oil on canvas

15 3/4 x 11 7/8 x 7/8 inches (40 x 30 x 2 cm)

Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York/London

OscarMurillo_1

Oscar Murillo

catalyst 1987, 2015

Clay, c-print, and wood

31 1/2 x 12 5/8 x 5 1/2 inches (80 x 32 x 14 cm)

Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York/London

OscarMurillo_3

Oscar Murillo

day shift, 2015

Railing and canvas: 141 x 161 x 7 7/8 inches (358 x 409 x 20 cm)

Canvas: 141 x 87 3/8 inches (358 x 222 cm)

Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York/London

OscarMurillo_4

Oscar Murillo

pork, oriental, tea (detail), 2014-2015

Oil and oil stick on canvas and linen

88 5/8 x 88 5/8 x 1 5/8 inches (225 x 225 x 4 cm)

Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York/London

OscarMurillo_5

Oscar Murillo

HSBC, pork pashtuk, 2014-2015

114 1/4 x 98 1/2 x 15/8 inches (290 x 250 x 4 cm)

Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York/London

 

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