Oscar Murillo - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Thursday, May 15, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Stuart Shave Modern Art, London
    Private Collection, United States

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Most painters are terrified of painting in the same space where they are eating, sleeping and defecating. This is my idea of how the work progresses.”


    Undeniably one of the most dynamic and sought after young artists to emerge in recent memory, Colombian-born, London-based Oscar Murillo’s canvases blend the bombastic bravado that have been the hallmark of great painters throughout art history with his uniquely performative, holistic touch. Murrilo’s work is singular in its transgression of physical and ideological boundaries, integrating performance, installation, publishing, “happenings” and sculpture into its, ultimately, painterly focus. As Murillo has noted, “I jump from one process to another, barely considering formal ideas of painting” yet ultimately it is in his paintings that the divergent stands of his practice coalesce and take such exceptional form.

    The current lot exemplifies the energy and import of Murillo’s practice as a painter. Untitled, 2012’s gestural, exuberant energy highlights the performative dimension of his practice while the accrual of various textures and temperaments points to Murillo’s use of the studio as laboratory. Most arrestingly, the iconic inclusion of bold text creates a direct link to the artist’s cultural identity, elegantly counterbalanced by an almost Rothko-like swath of color across the middle section. The employment of the text “Pollo”, painted in vibrant fuchsia is an important link to Murillo’s Columbian heritage while also signifying the artist’s treatment of art-making as an intuitive “of the moment” practice that combines learned skill with personal history, as well as alchemy and chance. As in the present lot, the best of Murillo’s paintings evince a lived history with an almost spiritually effervescent aura – they seem to vibrate and, like the artist who painted them, wear a wisdom and power well beyond their years.



oilstick, spray paint, oil, dirt on canvas
85 7/8 x 65 7/8 in. (218.1 x 167.3 cm.)

$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $389,000

Contact Specialist
Zach Miner
Head of Sale
+1 212 940 1256

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 15 May 2014 7PM