press release

• The most important retrospective in Spain of works by this Madrid-born artist, who is also represented in the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Collection. • A selection of outstanding works from Muñoz’s entire career that reveals some previously neglected aspects of his innovative idiom. • Sculptures, installations, drawings, radio works and writings feature in an exhibition that highlights Muñoz’s mastery in creating tension between the illusory and the real.

From May 27to October 5, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao will be staging the most important retrospective exhibition in Spain of works by Juan Muñoz (Madrid, 1953 – Ibiza, 2001), widely considered one of the world’s finest contemporary sculptors and installation artists.

Curated by Sheena Wagstaff -Chief Curator at Tate Modern- this exhibition is organized by Tate Modern, London, in association with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. The second floor of the museum will host the most outstanding works from Muñoz’s entire career, and will include a number of extra works for the Bilbao venue, throwing new light on the complex nature of his artistic endeavors.

With a selection of nearly 80 works, including sculptures, installations, drawings, radio works and writings, the selection reveals some neglected aspects of the Madrid-born artist’s broad, innovative register. Muñoz studied art in London and New York, living in both cities for a number of years after a brief period spent studying architecture in Madrid.

In the mid 1980s and early 90s, after major exhibitions all over the world, Muñoz had established himself on the international art scene as one of the most important sculptors of recent decades. In Spain, however, true recognition came late, finally arriving in the year 2000, when he was awarded the country’s Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas.

From his early architectural works—staircases, balconies and banisters—located in impossible settings, by way of his optical floors that dissolve the limits of space and time, to his dramatic, theatrical installations involving groups of human figures that evoke the solitude of the individual in society, Muñoz’s works play with the spectator, enticing him into relating to them, even awaking feelings of unease and isolation. Muñoz described himself as “a narrator”, and his ability to propose new forms of contemplation and thought, to create tension between the illusory and the real, made him one of the few artists capable of renewing contemporary sculpture.

Juan Muñoz: A Retrospective

Kurator: Sheena Wagstaff

24.01.08 - 27.04.08 Tate Modern
27.05.08 - 05.10.08 Guggenheim - Bilbao