Kurimanzutto, one of Mexico’s leading contemporary art gallery, now represents Colombian artist Oscar Murillo, in addition to the artist’s longtime representative David Zwirner, whom he has worked with since 2013.
A closely watched artist on the international art market whose paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world, Murillo is known for a wide-ranging practice that includes paintings, sculptures site-specific installations, collaborative projects, and large-scale performances. Many of these often manifest as interventions into public spaces with the help of volunteers. He was shortlisted for the 2019 Turner Prize, and in a surprise move, all four artists were name winners after they petitioned the jury to award it as a collective.
His ongoing durational project Frequencies, which he made in collaboration with political scientist Clara Dublanc, involves fitting 100,00 desks with blank canvas that students could mark up and draw on. The canvases were sent to his hometown of La Paila in Colombia, as well as schools in India, Zambia, and Kenya. Since its inception in 2013, Frequencies has added some 40,000 of these canvases to an archive documenting the project.
In addition these collaborative works, Murillo has also recently worked on large-scale projects by himself. Last year, for four months, he installed several canvases painted in the church and convent of San Agustín Tekantó, in Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, where he had been living and working during the time. Ética y Estética (2021) comprises of several canvases painted in Maya blue, “a unique bright azure blue pigment manufactured by cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica from the region,” according to a release. Looking at the Yucatán’s pre-Columbian histories as well as contemporary labor issues in the region. In an interview with the New York Times he described his work as a way to “infiltrate the system,” saying, “My work is a social detonator.”