Contemporary Art Online | New York

Contemporary Art Online | New York

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 12. Untitled (Trash Painting 3).

Oscar Murillo

Untitled (Trash Painting 3)

Lot Closed

July 21, 04:12 PM GMT


40,000 - 60,000 USD

Lot Details


Oscar Murillo

b. 1986

Untitled (Trash Painting 3)

signed on the reverse; signed, titled and dated 2011 on the overlap

oil, dirt, debris, tape and spray paint on canvas

Canvas: 32 by 31½ in.  (81.3 by 80 cm.)

Framed: 32¾ by 32¼ in.  (83.2 by 81.9 cm.)

Hilary Crisp Gallery, London

Acquired from the above by the present owner

Executed in 2011, Oscar Murillo’s Untitled (Trash Painting 3) explodes the boundaries of painting in order to challenge the exclusivity of art. This stained canvas, which is marked by several globs of ‘trash’ and folded into quadrants, has the appearance of city sidewalk but also of the artist’s studio floor. In fact, to create this work, which belongs to his series of synthetic trash paintings, Murillo allows the canvas to ‘mature’ on the studio floor. Murillo explains in an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist, “The process was about accumulating or bringing together this material onto the canvas and they became the DNA of the studio.”[1] For Murillo, these synthetic trash paintings testify to the process of creation, which is a type of manual labor that produces the grime and trash visible on the canvas. These works recall Murillo’s early fascination with construction sites, where some order or meaning is always coming into being. In this way, the current work immortalizes the dirty space and process of creation and becomes a literal stage for the formation of meaning. However, we do not sense in Murillo’s work any trace of elitism or esotericism; his choice of material democratizes his art, since, as he explains, “dirt is real and is everywhere; it is accessible whether in the streets of London or in the villages of Colombia, dirt is democratic and free, so a dirty canvas is an extension of a reality.”[2] There is in Murillo’s art a transnational aspiration ­­— a recognition of art’s utopian potential. Thus, beyond his exploration of painting, Murillo also explores a universal social reality that is always dirty, but also in flux, evolving.

[1] Oscar Murillo, quoted in Hals Ulrich Obrist, “Hans Ulrich Obrist Interview with Oscar Murillo,” in Oscar Murillo: work, exh. cat., Rubell Family Collection/Contemporary Arts Foundation, Miami, 2012, 45.

[2] Oscar Murillo, quoted in Catherine Wood, “Oscar Murillo: Dirty Painting,” Mousse Magazine, no. 35, October 2012, 109.