Juan Muñoz: Seven Rooms
Foreword by Vicente Todolí. Texts by Siri Hustvedt, Guillaume Kientz, and Juan Muñoz. Interview with the artist by Michael Brenson. Contribution by Maurizio Cattelan
Available for pre-order. Forthcoming May 2023
A comprehensive look into the fascinating life and enduring legacy of Juan Muñoz and his enigmatic installations
“Walking between these figures feels like an interruption; being a spectator is itself a performance. They seem to know more than we do, about the status of being an artwork and the place of the viewer. The joke, if there is one, is on us.” —The Guardian
Muñoz’s revolutionary oeuvre evokes emotional narratives through sculpture, installation, drawing, writing, and sound. Situating viewers between his work and among one another, he creates an intimacy between art and its audience. Muñoz thought deeply about art history and, in particular, the tradition of Spanish painting. Before his untimely death at the age of forty-eight, he produced an extensive, powerfully evocative body of work that uniquely explores the narrative and philosophical possibilities of art.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition at David Zwirner, New York, in 2022, this catalogue provides an expansive overview of Muñoz’s career from the 1980s onward. In an accompanying text, the art historian and curator Guillaume Kientz contextualizes Muñoz’s influences within the art-historical canon. The acclaimed writer Siri Hustvedt contributes a thoughtful response to the artist’s iconic Conversation Piece. In an imagined interview between Muñoz and himself, Maurizio Cattelan further propels the artist’s momentum and potential in the time before his death. Also featured is a never-before-published interview between Muñoz and the art historian Michael Brenson that took place in 2000.
Publisher: David Zwirner Books
Artists: Juan Muñoz
Contributors: Michael Brenson, Maurizio Cattelan, Siri Hustvedt, Guillaume Kientz, Vicente Todolí
Printer: VeronaLibri, Verona
Publication Date: 2023
Dimensions: 8.5 × 10.5 in | 21.6 × 26.7 cm
Reproductions: 82 illustrations
Retail: $65 | £55
Status: Not Yet Published
Juan Muñoz (1953–2001) was born in Madrid. He spent a year studying architecture at the Polytechnic University in Madrid before deciding to flee fascist Spain for London in 1970. While in London, his work was primarily performance-based, yet he progressively grew interested in a group of artists who were working to move beyond the canon of traditional sculpture. Upon moving to New York in 1981, he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship. He also began his work in sculpture and developed a friendship with the Spanish curator Carmen Giménez, who introduced him to the influential sculptor Richard Serra. Muñoz returned to Spain in 1982 and devoted a year to curating, during which time he organized with Giménez the exhibition Correspondences: 5 Architects, 5 Sculptors at the Palacio de las Alhajas, Madrid.
Michael Brenson is an art critic and art historian. He is the artistic director of the Jonathan and Barbara Silver Foundation. He was an art critic for The New York Times from 1982–1991. He is a Getty Scholar, Guggenheim Fellow and Clark Fellow, and the recipient of a Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant.
Maurizio Cattelan (b. 1960) is one of the most prominent Italian artists in the world. Over a thirty-year career, his works have highlighted the paradoxes of society and reflect on political and cultural scenarios with great depth and insight. By using iconic images and a caustic visual language, his works spark heated public debate fostering a sense of collective participation.
Guillaume Kientz is an art historian and curator, and currently serves as CEO and director of the Hispanic Society Museum and Library. At the Louvre, where he served as a curator in the Department of Paintings for eight years, Kientz developed the revered exhibition Le Mexique au Louvre (2013), bringing Mexican masterpieces to the spotlight for the first time in the institution’s history.
Vicente Todolí is a Spanish museum director and curator. He is artistic director of Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. From 2003 until 2010, he was the director of Tate Modern, where he curated the exhibition Sigmar Polke: History of Everything (2003), with the close involvement of Sigmar Polke.