Oscar Murillo - New Now New York Wednesday, February 27, 2019 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Produced in 2012, on the verge of his breakthrough to becoming one of the decade’s most celebrated artists, Contemporary Takeaway #2 energetically displays each of the elements that characterize Oscar Murillo as the art world’s favorite enfant terrible.

    The fractured surface of the work is a microcosm of Murillo’s artistic process. In a small rectangular section to the lower left, his signature frenetic scribbles are severed from a larger piece of canvas. The abrupt disruption of the fluid lines enhances their expansive potential by allowing the viewer to mentally establish their continuation. The black monochrome in the lower right, created with cement dye, expresses a perennial concern with human labor through the incorporation of construction materials. Immersed in the shattered abstract composition, the green arrow oscillates between symbol and pure geometry, adding to the work’s dynamic energy and serving as its driving force. The most discernible shape in the work, it stretches to the very edge of the canvas, pointing outside of its surface to the broader field of artistic practice for which the canvas serves as index.

    Covered in dirt and other debris from the studio, the upper section of the work boldly fulfills Murillo’s goal of using canvas to register the space it inhabits. The presence of footprints in red paint foreshadows the artist's groundbreaking installations, where canvases would be displayed on the floor. Blurring material hierarchies is Murillo’s irreverent response to the hefty tradition of painting in art history. The use of the self-aware “Contemporary” in the work's title also hints at its relation to art history. While the laying of the canvas on the floor and the fluid strokes evoke abstract expressionism, his use of abstraction is in fact closer to post-minimalism, where pure form gives way to a process that embodies personal and social concerns.


Contemporary Takeaway #2

dirt, oil, cement dye and oilstick on canvas
78 1/2 x 65 1/2 in. (199.4 x 166.4 cm.)
Executed in 2012.

$75,000 - 100,000 

Sold for $105,000

Contact Specialist
Sam Mansour
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1219

New Now

New York Auction 27 February 2019