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  • Provenance

    Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot, Paris  

  • Catalogue Essay

    Born in 1953, Spanish artist Juan Munoz came to international prominence in the 1980s with dramatic figurative sculptural installations that placed the viewer into a specific context within the act of looking. Munoz’s signature
    works are human-like cast plastic figures, some about or smaller than life size, some distinctly with legs and others replaced with round stumps which leaves them stranded and unmoved. In the present lot, a single almost child-like figure with indiscernible facial features, a tilted head and friendly hand gesture appears to be greeting the viewer. However the figure soon becomes an allegory for the failure of communication and the impasse of language. Until one walks behind the sculpture, we see a large sharp knife, hidden cleverly behind his back, held in his right hand in the most nonchalant yet menacing behaviour. Looking at the work immediately fulfils Munoz’s intention to subject the viewer into a complex interaction with the artwork and the artist, an ambiguity forms between the observed and observer, the subject and object.
     
    “Munoz’s figures are always either self-absorbed or involved in some enigmatic interchange that renders them obvious to all else. Never soliciting any engagement with the viewer, their impregnable self-preoccupation cachets their audience, thereby creating a relationship that is unsettling as that generated between the architecture that shelters them and the discombobulated spectator.” (L. Cooke, ed., Juan Munoz: Interpretations, NewYork, 1999, p. 12)
     
     

359

Untitled

1994
Resin, polyester and stainless steel knife.
125 x 59 x 53 cm. (49 1/4 x 23 1/4 x 20 7/8 in).

Estimate
£150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for £157,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

18 Oct 2008, 7pm
London