Juan Muñoz

Madrid, 1953 - Ibiza, 2001

A sculptor, writer, illustrator and creator of auditive art, Juan Muñoz was born in Madrid in 1953. After problems at school, he received private classes from Santiago Amón, a historian and art critic.

In the decade of the 70s, the young Muñoz decided to travel to London to study at Croydon College, and after in the Central School of Art and Design. He met his wife to be, the Spanish sculptor Cristina Iglesias, and at the age of 29, won a Fulbright scholarship with which he was able to visit New York to study at the prestigious Pratt Institute private study centre for architecture, interior and industrial design. In 1984, at 31 years of age, Muñoz exhibited his work for the first time in the Madrid gallery of Fernando Vijande, commencing a trajectory of international exhibitions through the Guggenheim museums in Bilbao and New York, the Chicago Art Institute, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Tate Modern in London. Apart from sculpturing, Muñoz was interested in sound creation, producing some work for the radio. One of his most recognized works in this media was the one that he did together with the British composer Gavin Bryars, called “A man in a room, gambling”. In it, Muñoz dedicated the theme to card tricks, accompanied by a composition of Bryars.

The pieces, ten segments of no more than five minutes, were broadcast by the BBC on their Radio 3 channel.

After several years of international exhibitions, in 2000 Muñoz received the National Prize for Plastic Arts. He was the very first Spanish artist to exhibit in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern, with his work “Double Bind” in 2001. This was to be his last creation, and it is considered to be his masterpiece.

Juan Muñoz died in 2001 at the age of 49 years, from a heart attack.

Exhibited Works

  • “Puerta”, wooden and cement sculpture, 1983.
  • “Serie mobiliario”, engraving, 1996.