Juan Muñoz - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Thursday, February 14, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot, Paris
    Acquired by the present owner from the above in 1994

  • Catalogue Essay

    The fgurative sculptures of Spanish artist Juan Muñoz, who is a self-acknowledged storyteller, combine a personal exploration of human experience with a theatricality, synthesizing an emotional calm with the cerebral. Size plays a key conceptual role in all of Muñoz’s sculptures, as the slightly smaller than life-size fgures isolate themselves from the spectator, creating a sense of exclusion from the viewer. However, the present lot carries with it a unique sense of vertical scale, featuring one fgure on the shoulders of another.

    Muñoz drew inspiration from a range of sources throughout his career, from the Baroque architecture of Francesco Borromini to the writings of the dramatist Luigi Pirandello as well as artists such as Giacometti and Velazquez. These multifarious sources reveal themselves in works such as Untitled through scale, allegory and allusion. In the present lot, the veiled lower fgure and the secondary fgure wearing a larger than life-size guise of a face, refects the motif of the mirror that appears in Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author. The mirror allegory was something of which Muñoz was conscious: "My characters sometimes behave as a mirror that cannot refect. They are there to tell you something about your looking, but they cannot, because they don’t let you see yourself" (Juan Muñoz, quoted in N. Benezra and O. Viso, Juan Muñoz, University of Chicago Press, 2001).


Untitled (false pride-carried on the back of shame)

polyester resin, zolatone paint, cellophane and linen
205.7 x 71.1 x 55.9 cm (80 7/8 x 27 7/8 x 22 in)

£100,000 - 150,000 ‡♠

Contemporary Art Day Sale

15 February 2013