If you are in London, you should go to South London Gallery and keep an eye on Oscar Murillo’s first major (and impressive) solo show in the UK, open until December 1st. Moving his own studio here, Murillo occupies the main gallery space with sculptures, stitched canvases, drawings and films, but also with tables constructed from copper sheets, that he had alreadyused as flooring in previous shows, and he papered the floor with pieces made from pulped biro drawings paper. Oscar Murillo prepares a muscular and choir installation which causes a sense of grandeur, considering the size and the number of the displayed works both; in a violent and explicit statement of his work, Murillo imperatively assert his interest in investigating the atelier work’s prismatic aspects and in endeavouring them into matter and then into form.
Chaos, dirt, dust and debris, which we see turned into space and we sense present in environment and in artist’s works, are integral parts of Murillo’s practice: indeed they are “materials” taking part to a complex and balanced selection that then leads to the production of paintings, sculptures, installations, videos and performances. They are a physical-temporal documents subjected to the artist’s handling and use, a manifestation of processes that affects the environment, a self-referential historical stratification free of time . Stitched canvases, biro drawings, concrete balls, tables and paintings, are all activators of ongoing relationships through influences from different backgrounds , from Colombia and its dusties streets through Murillo’s own family, to the neat streets of London; on aesthetic-formal and conceptual level, all of these suggestions carry with themself, the contradictions and complexities of a continuous cultural, social, economics and art systemics cross-over.
An active component at the heart of the exhibition and holder of Murillo’s work guidelines, is a lottery that references the popularity of this phenomenon in many cultures. Murillo instigates a situation that highlights some of the complexities of social and cultural encounters, as he has done in previous exhibitions and events, raising several questions about authenticity, value, and the complex relationship between the public, private and commercial sectors of the art world.
Each screen-printed ticket is worked on in oil paint by Oscar Murillo and a member of his family, it has its own number and it is signed on the reverse by the artist. Tickets cost £2,500 each and they could be purchased online or by contacting the South London Gallery. Each lottery ticket was inscribed by a calligrapher with the name of the purchaser or intended recipient and will then be displayed in the South London Gallery, throughout Murillo’s exhibition. Lottery winner, the second and third, won three prizes devised by Oscar Murillo.
Oscar Murillo (b. 1986, Colombia) lives and works in London. He completed a BA in Fine Art at the University of Westminster, London, followed by MA in Painting in 2012 at the Royal College of Art, London. Recent solo exhibitions and projects include those at Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin; Art Basel; Carlos/Ishikawa, London; MAMA Showroom, Rotterdam; Rubell Family Collection, Miami; Serpentine Gallery, London; Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, Colombia. Forthcoming solo exhibitions include Studio Museum Harlem, New York and The Mistake Room, Los Angeles.