Lucio Muñoz (Madrid, 1929-1998) belongs to the generation from the Fifties that is influenced by the Abstraction of great artists such as the El Paso group, and which also does not lack in examples of rigorous figuration, such as Carmen Laffón and Antonio López. Lucio Muñoz is placed between two styles: his work cannot be ascribed to a complete abstraction because it maintains a link with the figurative throughout his career.
Wood is Lucio Muñoz’s most emblematic material and he uses it for most of his artistic production from 1956 onwards. In 1988, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía dedicates a retrospective exhibition to the artist, consisting of paintings, drawings, prints and documents. Thirteen years later, the Reina Sofía Museum presents an exhibition dedicated exclusively to his work on paper. With this exhibition it is discovered that paper is an essential part of his work, which he develops in a more intimate but equally constant way.
This exhibition shows for the first time sixty-two works gathered together, part of his work on and with paper, among which include sketches, drawings, paintings and collages. The exhibition is divided into four stages, in chronological order. The first one shows the beginning of Lucio Muñoz in Abstraction, precisely through paper. The artist creates collages composed of coloured fragments, largely resembling the work of one of his favourite artists, Paul Klee.
When wood appears Lucio Muñoz temporarily abandons paper which he recovers during the Sixties as a method to test his paintings. In this second creative stage his sketches, notes and studies are composed of organic forms. The exhibition includes examples like Silius y la noche (1975-1976) and Kramper nocturno (1976).
The knowledge acquired during the time Lucio Muñoz exclusively experiments in prints influences his later works, especially those done on paper. The artist is well aware of its features and possibilities and during this third phase between 1984 and 1987 he uses wet paper to increase the range of technical freedom. Although much of the works of this time are destroyed by the artist himself, the exhibition includes some examples of this new spontaneity like 10/84 and Pintua 86.
Lastly, his work on paper between 1992 and 1997 is comprehensively exhibited. Lucio Muñoz achieves a high level of precision and manufactures his own paper. Before the paper dries completely he adds items such as wood, plastic or electrical tape to finish up a coloured end. He soon begins to replace paper pulp with layers of very thin paper into which he incorporates timber in such a way that he achieves authentic architectural structures.
Although the artist usually titles his paper compositions according to the year he produces them, he creates a group of papers dedicated to his family and loved ones, including, La campaña de Sargon (1994). In this last stage, luminosity is one of the salient features of Lucio Muñoz’s work.
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