Could textiles win the Turner Prize?

Oscar Murillo has been shortlisted for this prize, thanks in part to his vulnerable, ripped and cut surfaces
Share
Oscar Murillo, Violent Amnesia 2019 at Kettle’s Yard. All images courtesy of the Tate
Oscar Murillo, Violent Amnesia 2019 at Kettle’s Yard. All images courtesy of the Tate

The Colombian-born artist Oscar Murillo was included in our contemporary painting survey, Vitamin P3, and he’s also made it into our new textiles overview, Vitamin T, partly because of the way he treats his canvases.

 

Zhang Enli at chi K11 art museum, Shanghai
Zhang Enli at chi K11 art museum, Shanghai

“Oscar Murillo puts his paintings through the wringer,” writes critic and curator George Vasey in Vitamin T. “Alongside oil paint his work incorporates materials such as dirt, food, latex and bank notes that are collaged onto crumpled and quilted textiles. Alongside canvas, he uses materials from tenting and food packaging and emblazes words such as mango, chorizo and milk across their surfaces.”

 

Oscar Murillo, photo by Jungwon Kim
Oscar Murillo, photo by Jungwon Kim

"His pictures feel like a space of digestion where he processes the stuff of the studio alongside the imagery and material of global economies. His paintings are largely abstract and broadly gestural, with their ripped and cut surfaces portraying a sense of vulnerability. The works – often painted front and back – hang from the ceiling, on the front of buildings, from trees and on the floor, frequently inviting audiences to interact with the work and allowing nature to take its course."

Some of those works might possibly win Murillo the 2019 Turner Prize. The artist has made this year’s shortlist, announced today, with judges citing the way “the way he pushes the boundaries of materials, particularly in his paintings. “His work incorporates a variety of techniques and media including painting, drawing, performance, sculpture and sound, often using recycled materials and fragments from his studio. Murillo’s work reflects on his own experience of displacement and the social fallout of globalisation.”

 

Oscar Murillo, Collective Conscience 2018 at the 10th Berlin Biennale
Oscar Murillo, Collective Conscience 2018 at the 10th Berlin Biennale

Our book picks up on this theme. “The surface of Murillo’s paintings can be read variously as tarpaulin and weathered flags. There is a literal and metaphorical density to his work that absorbs often contrary meanings. The blackness here could be read racially and ecologically, referencing the skin of silenced and exploited bodies, as well as evoking the crude oil that continues to fuel our society and serve as a pretext for so many wars,” writes Vasey. “Murillo’s work invites the significant questions around identity, migration, value and community – he makes ominous and significant art for difficult times.”

 

Vitamin T: Threads and Textiles in Contemporary Art

For more on Murillo’s work, as well as plenty of other artists working in thread and fabric order Vitamin T here.


You May Also Like


Related





ABOUT PHAIDON

Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City.
Read more