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  • Provenance

    Carlos/Ishikawa, London
    Private Collection
    Phillips, New York, 10 November 2015, lot 112
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    A frenzied throng of lines cascading onto a dual canvas arrangement, Oscar Murillo’s Untitled is a dynamic painting belonging to the artist’s expressive oeuvre. An amalgamation of painting, performance and installation, the present work conveys an electrifying and contagious energy. Littered with a manic and ferocious coating of scrawls, Murillo’s scribbles allude to a carnal vitality while the superimposed ‘Fresa,’ Spanish for ‘strawberries,’ instils a playful semiotic component. Furthermore, ‘Fresa’ is slang in Latin America for a preppy, upper class youngster, a notion in stark contrast to the gritty and edgy aesthetic that characterises Murillo’s work.

    Untitled recalls Murillo’s South American heritage and subsequent relocation to the United Kingdom. Born in 1986, Murillo and his family came to London when he was 10 years old. The capital was a drastically different physical, social and cultural topography to his home country of Columbia. Murillo recollects, ‘My father was a mechanic in a sugar cane factory and my mother worked for a candy factory: we had a sweet life!’ (Karen Wright, ‘In the studio with Oscar Murillo,’ Independent, 7 September 2013, online). Embodying the experiences of displacement, nostalgia and multiculturalism, Murillo’s painterly canvases demonstrate an affinity with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s graffiti legacy. Like the cigarette butts visible in Jackson Pollock’s vast paintings, each of Murillo’s works accumulates detritus from his studio; particles of dirt, dust and debris become integral to the work.

    Juxtaposing black with an iridescent and luminous acidic yellow, Untitled serves as a paradigm for Murillo’s reputation as one of the most prolific young artists to burst onto the contemporary art in recent years.



oil, oil stick and dirt on canvas
larger part 229.9 x 230.2 cm (90 1/2 x 90 5/8 in.)
smaller part 168.3 x 193.7 cm (66 1/4 x 76 1/4 in.)
overall 229.9 x 295.3 cm (90 1/2 x 116 1/4 in.)

Executed in 2012.

£150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for £185,000

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Specialist, Head of Evening Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4061 [email protected]

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 29 June 2017